Lights, Camera, Acting!
The One Act Festival at Henry Ford College is held every year by the Theatre Department. This year it will commence be held from June 18 until June 28. A collection of short plays, these performances are typically directed by students. This year, HFC Theatre majors Joshua Neilson, Reba Neely, Christian Plonka and Anita Holsey Banks directed the shows.
I sat down with theater and telecommunications graduate, Reba Neely, to ask about her directing experience. Neely directed the play Variations, and had this say about it: “This is my first term directing here. It’s been really fun and also a little scary. This has been a great learning experience because it equips and prepares you for a real world theater career”. This year festival will be comprised of four plays, three dramas and one comedy. Sharing the stage with Neely’s Variations are The Problem, which is directed by Nielson, Christian Plonka’s The Zoo Story and Anita Holsey-Banks will be directing 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.
“These four shows are very good and very deep. They touch on a lot of different topics,” said Andrew St. John, one of the stars.
Auditions for the One Act Festival were a two week process with a variety of student hopefuls vying for the roles. “We had a great turn out, and choosing is hard,” said Neely, “The people that I got are dedicated, put in the hours and are doing great.”
In August, the theatre department will be presenting A Raisin in The Sun. A four-time Tony nominated production, this play is one of the first of its kind and will be coming to HFC this summer. “It is a great landmark play in black theatre, one of the black situation and plight in America, by Lorraine Hansbury,” said George Popovich, director of the theatre department. “We are delighted that Christopher Bremer, who is the executive director of the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, one of Detroit’s major professional theaters, is directing this show for us.”
We can also look forward to A Christmas Story in the fall. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it is the story of ten year old Ralphie and his pursuit of the Red Ryder BB Gun. “It’s a family classic and a lot of fun,” says Popovich , “We will be holding matinees for schools and we hope that everyone comes and shows up. We will also have a lot of big surprises coming in the winter and next spring and we really hope to see you there.