Fifteen original short plays written, directed and acted by PSU students will have their world premiere beginning on May 16 at the Boiler Room Theatre in Portland State’s Lincoln Hall as part of the three-week long New Play Festival.
The festival is the result of a quarter-long collaboration showcasing student talent and skill and features plays from fantasy and realism to sci-fi and earthly drama. The School of Music and Theater: Dramatic Writing and Directing helped with the festival production through class sequences.
The week one show Man of the Year by Raz Mostaghimi won the grand prize from the Drama Reading Club, founded in 1917. The head of the theater department, Karin Magaldi, is assisting with creative direction.
Bringing a brand new theatrical behemoth to its feet has never been easy, but the collaborative efforts of the entire team have certainly helped. Many people wear a shop’s worth of hats on their heads, filling roles from actor to scenic designer, to laundry captain to director.
Merry Bishop, a transfer student in her third quarter at PSU, helped build the experimental and transformative sets. She’s also an actor in the magical week one show InZane.
“Being a transfer student, it’s been special to be a part of such a big collaboration,” Bishop said. “It’s made me feel like a part of a team here at PSU.” When describing InZane, she explained the wacky, comedic plot.
“It follows a mob master named Zane through a magical world, where he and his friends discover how to kill boredom,” she said. “There are wizards and puppets and a quick flare of romance too. It would be ‘inZane’ not to see it.”
Other shows include the week two drama Untitled, which focuses on a marriage that is crumbling despite the characters pouring their love and effort into keeping it alive.
On the absurd side of things, there’s Carrot, Teapot, Man, in which a man finds himself to be the last inhabitant of a dystopian city and must make friends with what remains in his house.
The three-week festival is held on May 16–19, May 22–26, May 30–June 2. Evening shows are at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees are at 2:00 p.m. The event is located in The Boiler Room Studio in Lincoln Hall. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office on campus.