ENMU theater majors to showcase plays

The end of the semester is quickly approaching and the Eastern New Mexico University theater students will be presenting their student-directed, written and acted pieces this week.

The End of the Semester Student Showcase runs today through Thursday at the ENMU theater.

Victoria Wright, a theater major, has written a piece that another student director will stage. She will also be directing a play written by another student.

Jillian Holbert: Portales News-Tribune

Eastern New Mexico University student director Rose Kelly builds a prop backstage for the upcoming End of the Semester Student Showcase.

According to Wright, logistics played a large part in getting the 12 student directors enough rehearsal time for their projects. Not only was scheduling a rehearsal space an issue, but many of the actors are set to perform in multiple plays and their schedules also had to be considered.

Because the showcase will feature short student-produced plays, Wright said she is keeping the set-design for her production low-key.

"Basically we're doing the bare necessities," Wright said. "For props we have a rosary and stuff like that, but as far as the set goes, we're keeping it simple with a table and two chairs, just as simple as we could get it."

Rose Kelly will be directing a 10-minute fantasy play and had to find a way to incorporate simple, yet effective special effects into her piece. Having previously worked as an engineer, Kelly is used to making objects from scratch. For many of her props, Kelly researched the objects and puts her skills to work.

Jillian Holbert: Portales News-Tribune

Eastern New Mexico University theater student Victoria Wright makes adjustments to her script. Wright will write and direct a piece for the upcoming End of Semester Student Work at ENMU's theater center.

"All of the skills you gather, they're gonna be used somewhere throughout your life whatever you're doing," Kelly said.

One of Kelly's props is a dragon grapefruit that is supposed to be split in half in one scene and is supposed to magically disappear in another. Kelly is planning on manipulating a balloon to pull off this effect.

According to Anne Beck, an ENMU theater faculty member, said the showcase gives the students an opportunity to see their work performed.

"These are all new plays so the audience is really important because they're part of the visceral response to the first airing of these plays," said Beck.

  • What: End of the Semester Student Showcase
  • When: 7 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday
  • Where: ENMU's studio theater in the University Theater Center

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