Concordia students lead 2018 annual One-Act Play Festival

Published by Concordia University, Nebraska 3 years ago on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 10:27 AM
Thirty Concordia students will be performing four one-act plays during Concordia’s annual One-Act Play Festival April 5–7.

Students of Concordia University, Nebraska, will be performing six one-act plays during the annual One-Act Play Festival, running April 5-7. The festival begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre in the Music Center on campus.

This year’s directors chose four comedies and two dramas, including a children’s language comedy, a seriocomedy, and a courtroom drama written and directed solely by students.

Bryan Moore, associate professor of communication and theatre, said, “The shows have proven to be a fun challenge for the directors and actors, and the audience will benefit from the variety of topics and comedic and dramatic styles presented.”

The festival is a component of Concordia’s play production course in which the students direct short plays. They each select a play, conduct auditions and rehearse with the cast, culminating in a weekend of their plays.

“The one-acts can be a good time to challenge ourselves in ways that we don’t normally,” said student director Melonie Kotschwar. “We can take on a leadership role that will ultimately culminate in a finished project that everyone will get the chance to see. Leading a group of people to try and get a great final play is really a chance to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones and take on new roles that actually help us grow to become better leaders in our community.”

This year’s performances include “The Last Leaf” based on the O.Henry short story and adapted by Thomas Hischak. This show presents a pneumonia-stricken patient and the motivation she receives from her friends. Students will also perform “Afternoon At Tavern MacTavish” or “My Wallet is in the Highlands” by Frances A. Hogg, in which a family of American tourists look for an authentic Scottish experience but might get more or less what they bargained for. Also being presented is “The Trial of Billy Scott” by Mazie Hall, which is a children’s language comedy depicting the trial of good language. The ending of the play is determined by the audience who acts as the jury, and therefore changes in every performance. The short seriocomedy, “Anti-Depressants” by Jeff Weisman, is included in the performances, along with the lighthearted comedy, “The Plot to Assassinate The Chase Manhattan Bank” by Carl Larsen. Finally, “Ablaze” by Concordia student Ben Leeper finishes out the program. This play explores many different sides of morality and mystery in a courtroom drama.

“I think the One-Act Festival is a great way for people to get a taste of theater,” said student director Jayme Lowe. “The smaller casts and lesser time commitment allow for people who normally don’t have time to be involved and get a chance to be onstage. It’s all student-led and it allows for so many good experiences.”

Performers include (in order by play and then student’s state, city, and last name):

“The Last Leaf”

Jayme Lowe, junior, Atchison, Kan., director

Breann Huber, sophomore, Arvada, Colo, assistant director

Emily Jensen, senior, Sioux City, Iowa, playing Johnsy

Mary Kohnke, freshman, Concordia, Mo., playing Sue

Joshua Brumm, junior, Seward, Neb., playing the Doctor

Caleb Staehr, junior, Grand Island, Neb., playing Behrman

 “Afternoon At Tavern MacTavish”

Melonie Kotschwar, senior, Minden, Neb., director

Chris Genszler, senior, Oregon, Ohio, assistant director

Anne Jesgarz, junior, Shelbyville, Ill., playing Fiona

Emily Jensen, senior, Sioux City, Iowa, playing Janet

Rachel Krome, sophomore, Fairmont, Minn., playing Dani

Nathan Klaumann, junior, Fairbury, Neb., playing Herb

Dylan White, senior, Lexington, Neb., playing Sandy

Chris Genszler, senior, Oregon, Ohio, playing the Customer

Amos Utecht, freshman, Rosebud, S.D., playing Angus

“The Trial of Billy Scott”

Rebecca Blank, senior, Madison, Neb., director

Britnee Fear, junior, Hershey, Neb., assistant director

Monica Lennington, junior, Atchison, Kan., playing the Judge

Olivia Hunt, sophomore, Big Lake, Minn., playing the Bailiff and Foreman

Rachel Krome, sophomore, Fairmont, Minn., playing the Prosecuting Attorney

Mary Kohnke, freshman, Concordia, Mo., playing Mrs. Noun

Dane Pedersen, junior, Columbus, Neb., playing Adam Adverb

Zachary Staehr, freshman, Grand Island, Neb., playing the Defense Attorney

Emma Heidorn, junior, Utica, Neb., playing Mrs. Good English and Conjunction

Peter Deberny, junior, Lockport, N.Y., playing Vernon J. Verb

Amos Utecht, freshman, Rosebud, S.D., playing Billy Scott

Melinda Buhler, freshman, Fort Worth, Texas, playing Preposition and Addie Adjective

Victoria Cameron, sophomore, Kent, Wash., playing Interjection


Abigail Wisniewski, junior, Withee, Wis., director

Sammi Pietanza, sophomore, San Diego, Calif, assistant director

Joshua Brumm, junior, Seward, Neb., playing James

Cadence Klemp, senior, Seward, Neb., playing Monica

Michelle Porath, freshman, Lexington, Neb., playing the Secretary

“The Plot to Assassinate the Chase Manhattan Bank”

Dylan Olmsted, senior, York, Neb., director

Hayden Rensner, freshman, Effingham, Ill., playing Wilber Fuddle

Delaney Doremus, sophomore, Grimes, Iowa, playing Miss Smith

Kailey Bales, sophomore, Elkhart, Kan., playing Miss Jones

Chelsea Irwin, junior, Lincoln, Neb., playing Mr. Dickenson


Benjamin Leeper, senior, Thornton, Colo., writer

Ian Hendrickson, senior, Seward, Neb., director

Dylan White, senior, Lexington, Neb., assistant director

Peter Jensen, junior, Newport Beach, Calif., playing Jonathan Goodwin Sr.

Delaney Doremus, sophomore, Grimes, Iowa, playing Jenna Samson

Kailey Bales, sophomore, Elkhart, Kan., playing the Waitress

Julia O’Laughlin, sophomore, Winona, Minn., playing Eve Whittaker

Dane Pederson, junior, Columbus, Neb., playing Thomas Reus

Seth Hart, sophomore, Fairbury, Neb., playing Paul Rivera

Lukas Sollberger, freshman, Louisville, Neb., playing Jonathan Goodwin Jr.