Theater Program Presents Student-Directed One-Act Play Festival

By Tom McLaughlin

World premieres of two student-written plays will highlight the Rutgers University–Camden theater program’s annual Student-Directed One-Act Play Festival.

Performances will be held Thursday, Dec. 5 to Sunday, Dec. 8 in the Black Box Studio.

Performances, which are free of charge and open to the public, are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 to Saturday, Dec. 7; and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in the Black Box Studio on the Rutgers–Camden campus.

The Walk, written by senior English major Matt Fulton of Browns Mills, dramatizes the story of America’s first mass shooter, Howard Unruh, who gunned down 13 people in Camden in 1949.

“We’re looking to create a conversation,” explains director Hunter Smith, a senior theater major from Medford Lakes. “This man has so many ties to themes we talk about today: PTSD, sexual/mental abuse, homosexuality, bullying, and so many more. Through this play, we not only look at the murderer, but at society as well.”

The play features senior theater major Anthony Diaz of Cherry Hill in the role of Unruh.

Tensions rise at an Italian restaurant when a young woman confronts her parents with dramatic news in The Dinner by Starla Blatcher, a junior film studies major from Haddon Township. Directed by Courtney Miller, a junior film studies major from Williamstown, the cast features Rachel Aspen, a sophomore double major in theater and childhood studies from Deptford, as Jennifer, the young woman with a secret.

Hunter Smith (left), a senior theater major, will direct The Walk.

The tone of the festival is lightened by two short comedies directed by Doaa Ouf, a senior double major in art and theater from Cairo, Egypt. Murder by Midnight by Jeff Goode features the classic themes of film noir as hotel detective Dick Piston, played by senior theater major Josh Feinbaum from Voorhees, who has only ten minutes to crack the case. Film Appreciation by David Susman explores the ups and downs of relationships through a direct conversation between the audience and Trisha, played by senior accounting major Sarah D’Agostino from Haddon Township.

The Black Box Studio is located in the Fine Arts Complex on Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Rutgers–Camden campus. Get directions to Rutgers–Camden

Learn more about the festival and other performances.

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