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Milligan’s Festival of One Act Plays set for May 1

(Please note a schedule change: Milligan’s Festival of One Act Plays was originally scheduled for April 29-May 2. However, this year it will be performed on just one evening—Wednesday, May 1.)

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (April 23, 2013) — Milligan College will present the 26th annual Festival of One Act Plays on Wednesday, May 1, at 6 p.m., in the McGlothlin-Street Theatre in Milligan’s Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts. The festival is free and open to the public.

This year’s festival features five performances presented by Milligan students, alumni and staff. It also includes an original one act written by local playwright Deborah DeGeorge Harbin.

The festival was started in 1987 by Richard Major, professor of theater at Milligan, to energize the theater program and provide hands-on theater experience for his students.

“One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about the festival is that students who might never consider auditioning for a main-stage production enthusiastically show up in swarms for the one act auditions,” Major said. “It’s a way to not only showcase our student directors and their casts, but is also a way to thank our patrons, as the festival has always been free of charge.”

This year’s lineup includes:

“Dollywood: A Period Piece” — written and directed by Deborah DeGeorge Harbin, adjunct instructor of theater and communications at Milligan; stage managed by Beattie Renn, a junior worship leadership and history major from Buckeystown, Md.

An autobiographical snapshot that infuses frenetic dramedy with just a hint of Sartre’s “No Exit,” “Dollywood: A Period Piece” casts the growing pains of one family against the backdrop of an endless amusement park line. Second sister Debbie, 13 years old and suffering from a bad case of cramps, must deal with the horrors of becoming a woman and the plagues of a bratty little brother simultaneously. Yet as she does battle with teenage nausea, it is revealed that a much greater horror lurks below the frenetic surface of the family. Will the clan emerge victorious on the far side of crisis, or will their anxious holding pattern become a fixture of their family life?

“Grunions” — directed by Natasha Carpenter, a senior child and youth development major from Mexico City, Mexico; stage managed by Kate Handzlik, a senior photography and psychology major from Philadelphia, Pa.

In this story by Barbara Lindsay, a young married couple, Augie and Carla, come to terms with the reality of marriage. It’s not what society told them it would be, and it’s not what they expected. But that may not be a bad thing. It’s a story about marriage, life and fish.

“The Marriage Proposal” — directed by 2012 Milligan alumnus Daniel Banks of Elizabethton, Tenn.; stage managed by Will Major, a senior photography and humanities major from Johnson City, Tenn.

In this play by Anton Chekhov (translated by Sergius Ponomarov), a hypochondriac desperate for marriage asks the hand of a wealthy landowner’s daughter, but very quickly arguments break out about simple, everyday things. The piece is a satire about relationships and the mundane things people find themselves bickering about.

“A Defenseless Creature” — directed by Heather Knudtsen, a 2010 Milligan alumna from Manila, Philippines; stage managed by Krista Knudtsen, a junior art major from Manila.

This one act is excerpted from “The Good Doctor” by Neil Simon (adapted from stories by Anton Chekhov). In early 20th century Russia, a woman pleads with a bank official to compensate her husband for a debt owed him by a completely different company. Hilarity ensues as the bank manager desperately tries to explain that he cannot help, and the woman stops at nothing to get her way.

“Cut” — directed by junior Matthew Rees, a fine arts major from Redford, Mich.; stage managed by Richard “Greg” Hopkins, a sophomore music education major from Mountain City, Tenn.

This one act by Ed Monk is a meta-theatre masterpiece, breaking down the fourth wall and the characters to create comedic genius. This show asks such important questions as: “What is the meaning of life?”  “What role do we play?” and “Who’s Josh?”

For more information about Milligan’s fine arts program, visit www.milligan.edu/arts.


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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