One act fest teaches, entertains

by Alexa Gerber

Comedic, dramatic, sci-fi, absurdist, movement-based — the Gaede Stage will be these and more during next week’s One-Act Festival. Fourteen student-directed one-act plays will be performed Monday, Apr. 27 – Wednesday, Apr. 29. Each of the three nights will feature new student work, presented as part of an assignment for Directing III.

“Our advisors helped us build things up, but it’s mostly a student-run event,” said Chris Pitner, one of the student directors. He will be presenting “Resplendent Vessel” by Daniel Johnson on Apr. 27.

He describes it as a bit of a dystopian piece.

“It has some comedic elements and some more thought-provoking elements,” he said.

The One-Act Festival is an opportunity for the students involved to get experience in the director’s chair. Pitner had only directed a couple of projects before taking Directing III.

“It’s been a new experience,” he said. “It’s been a fun and stressful process learning how to direct other people.”

Pitner’s used to being directed as an actor in other shows, but found that taking on the responsibility himself wasn’t what he expected. When asked what he learned from the process, he had this to say: “Instead of opening the door for your actors, you have to give them the key and lead them to it.”

In addition to the directing opportunity the festival offers, there’s also a chance for students to experience a wide array of theater in just three days. And it doesn’t happen often – Directing III isn’t offered every semester.

“It’s good for your soul,” Pitner said. “You can see so many different styles and elements of theater, and see the different artistic abilities of the students here on campus.”

The One-Act Festival performances begin every night at 7:30 p.m. in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts on the Gaede Stage. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults, but MSUM students get in free with an ID. Tickets are available online at or by calling 218-477-2271. Tickets can also be bought at the door on the night on the show. For more information, contact Craig A. Ellingson at or 701-388-9382.

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