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Cameron theatre season wraps up with Student Play Festival, featuring 12 original short plays

The Cameron University Department of Art, Music and Theatre Arts will conclude its 2023-24 “Season of Chaos, Compassion and Care” with the Student Play Festival, featuring 12 original 10-minute productions. The Student Play Festival will take place in the Studio Theatre from Thursday, April 18, through Sunday, April 21. The curtain goes up on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets purchased at the door are $13 for adult and $10 for senior citizens, members of the military, and non-CU students. Cameron University students, faculty and staff receive one free admission with their CU I.D. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 580-581-2346. Tickets can also be purchased in advance online at https://www.cameron.edu/art-music-and-theatre/events/buy-tickets. (Taxes and processing fees apply.)

The play festival is a collaborative effort between students and faculty. Instructor Jean Tartière, the festival artistic director/faculty director, plans and supervises each rehearsal; provides feedback, suggestions, and notes to student-directors and actors; and guides the student-directors through the process.

Ten of the plays were written by students in Dr. Natalie McCabe’s playwriting course, seven during this semester’s course and three written during the 2022 spring semester. The remaining two plays were written by faculty members Ben Williams and Susie Williams.

In writing their plays, students drew inspiration from newspaper articles and news stories. Each student in Tartière’s directing class is responsible for one of the 12 plays, learning how to prepare a script for direction and how to cast and block the show while working with actors.

Following are the original plays to be presented:

TITLE                                                               PLAYWRIGHT                                         DIRECTOR

“Midnight Bloom”                                       Maliah Eleanor Davis                             Shayson Lenee’

“The Cockroach”                                        Gabriella Aguilar                                    Skylar Edwards

“What We Say After Dark: Part One”       Ben Williams, Susie Williams                   Natalie Small

”Buck”                                                          Charles Mvnte Jones                               Rose Landrum

”Lawn Mayhem”                                         Alexzander Ernest                                    Dakota Maggard Weeks

”The Case of the Linguine Litterbug”          Theo Cognet                                             Francis Waweru

”Two Roads”                                               Rose Landrum                                           Victoria Spruill

”Eva and Oliver”                                        Shayson Lenee’                                         Maliah Eleanor Davis

”Mud”                                                         Dakota Maggard Weeks                        Alexzander Ernest

”Who’s Haunting the Fletcher House”       Shayson Lenee’                                         Jaiden Standridge

”What We Say After Dark: Part 2”            Ben Williams, Susie Williams                    Rhiannon Pettigrew

”Check the Gun”                                         Maliah Eleanor Davis                             Victor Rosario

Performers are individually cast in as many as three of the plays. In addition to CU students, faculty and staff, community members were eligible to audition and participate. Playwrights and directors Aguilar, Cognet, Edward, Ernest, Jones, Landrum, Pettigrew, Rosario, Spruill, Standridge and Weeks are joined by additional cast members Alex Bliefernich, Joceline Hernandez, Mia Johnson, Shade Linville and Merlin Phillips.

Students are also among those participating in technical and other backstage roles. Lenee’ serves as the festival’s stage manager and light board operator. Waweru is assistant stage manager and projection operator. Sydney Dalby runs the soundboard. Small is the festival’s props master in addition to working on the wardrobe crew. All students participate on the running crew.

Ben Williams also assists as production manager and scenic designer, and Susie Williams is the costume designer. Joey Roberts, theatre facility manager, is the sound designer for the festival.

The production is recommended for mature audiences only and may contain content that some audience members may find objectionable. Children below age 5 are not permitted in the theatre.

Participant students are listed below by hometown:

Baytown, Texas: Joceline Hernandez

Cache: Sydney Dalby

Comanche: Shayson Lenee’

Duncan: Merlin Phillips, Natalie Small, Victoria Spruill, Jaiden Standridge

Graceville, Fla.: Mia Johnson

Greeley, Colo.: Rose Landrum

Lawton/Fort Sill: Gabriella Aguilar, Alex Bliefernich, Theo Cognet, Maliah Eleanor Davis, Skylar Edwards, Alexzander Ernest, Shade Linville, Rhiannon Pettigrew, Victor Rosario, Dakota Maggard Weeks

Nairobi, Kenya: Frances Waweru

Tulsa: Charles Mvnte Jones



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