January 10, 2021

Theatre Thesis Festival - 2021


EVENING A: Wednesday, April 21, and Friday, April 23

7:30pm Seat at the Table Sam Gensler

8:30pm Con serpientes vengo yo Sofia Marks

EVENING B: Thursday, April 22, and Saturday, April 24

8:30pm Murder at Thorton Terrace Robert Rodriguez and Arielle Scena-Shifrin

Fir Acres Theatre Main Stage - Free

*Include date and time and title of each event you want to attend.

*Seating restricted to ONLY already permitted on-campus students/faculty/staff.

*Masks required.

The annual Theatre Thesis Festival showcases the work of our senior theatre majors. They are all enrolled in Theatre 450, the Senior Seminar. The Seminar provides the academic context for a capstone experience that normally includes both a creative project and a written thesis. By “creative projects” we mean theatre productions supported in a Festival context.

This year’s festival features a fully realized original musical and two devised one-person performances, all of which reflect the work of our graduation directors, performer/creators. The festival is broken up into alternating nights with two productions per evening.

On the “A” Evenings, you will see Sam Gensler’s monologue, Seat at the Table, and Sofía Marks’ one-person devised project, Con serpientes vengo yo.

Sam’s project is an original piece that will be presented in the tradition of American monologists such as the late Spalding Gray and Mike Daisy: bare stage, a chair, a desk, and a solitary figure of the speaker. It is an exploration of the friction between the myths that shape American manhood and men’s actual lived experiences and of the conflict arising from being brought up without any tools to decipher the feelings stemming from experiencing a world very different from what you were promised.

Sofía’s originally devised performance deals with the struggle of finding balance and acceptance within oneself. It is inspired by the myth of the Aztec snake goddess Quetzalcoatl, “the one who is at one with the beasts”. Quetzalcoatl is both light and darkness, creator and destroyer, equilibrium and chaos, and Sofía’s piece uses dance, music, ritual, spoken word, and songs to explore and to remember the parts of ourselves that we have disowned because we (or others) thought they were shameful or wrong.

On the “B” Evenings, you’ll see a full- fledged musical, The Murder at Thorton Terrace written and directed by Robert Rodriguez with Arielle Scena-Shifrin in the main role of Emma.

Robert’s original musical is a playful combination of a classical ‘whodunnit’ murder mystery, a game of Clue, and an “escape room” experience. After several years of unexplained absence, a young woman Emma, played here by the musical performance Senior Arielle Scena-Shiffrin, returns to her hometown only to find out that her best friend had been murdered. Things quickly move from bad to worse when she and her former school friends find themselves locked in a house by the victim’s deranged sister and tasked with identifying the perpetrator. Much confusion ensues, but the unexpected evildoer is ultimately revealed.

The Theatre Thesis Festival will be performed live for a limited audience and streamed to the wider community

Theatre Class of 2021:
Mo Fries, Sam Gensler, Sofie Marks, Robert Rodriguez, Arielle Scena-Shifrin