The Carillon brings you the weekly news from the University of Regina.
by Kat Nogue |
From astrophysics to auto theft, death to dancing, love to lemons, the first annual Student Infringement Festival has it all.
The festival, subtitled "In the Shu-box on a Shu-string," runs from February 9 - 17. It features nine one-act plays, most of them written by U of R students, and a series of 18 Teasers and Chasers, ten-minute dramatic pieces that bracket each performance. The plays, each of which runs roughly an hour, were selected by student and faculty fringe committees out of a total of 16 submitted scripts.
Every aspect of the week-long undertaking, from directing to lighting, is controlled by theatre students. The project, according to coordinator Kathryn Bracht, is a way for students to gain an in-depth, practical education in the specifics of dramatic production, and to utilize the skills they've learned in class.
"We usually do three shows in a year, [which] aren't always enough to give everybody a performance opportunity, if they're a performance major. This is [a chance for] our performance majors to learn how to self-produce....It's a valuable experience, because when they get out there they don't always know where to go, and...[this way] they can get some hands-on experience [in a controlled environment]," Bracht says.
As its name suggests, the production is quite consciously modelled on the dramatic template of a fringe festival, a milieu that encourages professional integrity and versatility. Creative control is an integral component, as is a minimalist ethic.
"They have to get their shows in and out of the shu-box in 15 minutes, so you'll find a lot of shows that have focused on simplicity," Bracht explains. This focus is strengthened by fiscal constraints: each show has an operating budget of $100, plus full access to the department's collections of costumes, props, and lighting equipment. The temporal and financial limits encourage a creative use of space that is very much in keeping with the fringe spirit and, Bracht believes, an important skill for students to learn.
Those involved are convinced that the value of the festival isn't limited to what it can teach theatre students; they say audiences will also find it to be a worthwhile experience.
"The department and students are really excited about it," Bracht enthuses, "and we'd love to get people out to see it. These are shows that your peers are going to be working on, and that you can relate to [because] they're dealing with issues that involve you."
The festival opens at 11:45 am on Friday with Rob Appleby's play Oh, This Sucks. Admission is $2 for a single show, $5 for an evening pass, and $12 for a festival pass.
Tickets can be purchased at the Students' Union, the bookstore, College West residence or the University Theatre box office. Anyone interesting in finding out more about the festival is invited to call 585-5500.
Questions or comments? Email Erin Mazur, Technology Co-Ordinator.