Mountain View Voice

News - March 15, 2013

Foothill one-act festival

Series of short plays give students a chance to sharpen their acting, directing chops

by Nick Veronin

A group of Foothill College students are gearing up to grapple with some tough emotional and philosophical dilemmas — all before a live audience.

Beginning next Thursday, March 21, and running through Sunday, March 24, the Foothill College Theatre Arts Department will present its annual student-directed one-act play festival. This year's festival, entitled "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow," features "seven short plays about life and death," according to a Foothill press release.

Every year for about the last two decades, the theater department at Foothill has hosted the one-act festival as a way to give aspiring actors, directors and the occasional student playwright to showcase their talent and hone their chops, said Janis Bergmann, director of the department. In the run-up to the festival, Bergmann selects a number of plays around a theme, carefully picking works she believes will engage and challenge her students.

"I choose the theme, and a selection of plays that go along with that theme, that are complex and interesting, so the students can sink their teeth into them both as actors and directors," Bergmann said.

She said that she has also given student-authored one-acts a chance in the past.

This year's selections include: "Visiting Dad," by Judith Fein; "St. Francis Preaches to the Birds," by David Ives; "Dissonance," by Craig Pospisil; "The Devil is in the Details," by Jill Elaine Hughes; "The Disruptive, Discursive Delusion of Donald," by Michael Roderick; "Asteroid Belt," by Lauren Feldmen; and "The Mysteries of the Castle of the Monk of Falconara," by James Armstrong.

"There are plenty of careers in the arts," she said. "As long as you make yourself versatile, you can have a really great career in this field."

But those who choose a different path after Foothill will still have a great skill set that can be applied elsewhere in their lives, she said. The program instills its graduates with confidence and an ability to speak well in front of people.

Tickets to the festival are $14 for general admission, $12 for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more and $7 for Foothill students. Tickets can be purchased at foothill.edu/theatre and by calling the box office at 949-7360.

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