By the students, for the students

UW-Eau Claire theater students in charge of spring short play festival

More stories from Sammi Wendling

“One Acts” is a completely student-run production from the theater department at UW-Eau Claire. Directed by two advanced theater students, Leah Beckman and Chris Weber, the production is left in their hands.

Everything seen on the stage will have been done through students, with the approval of Beckman and Weber. No professors are involved in the production, and the students have complete control.

Everything from costume designs, lighting direction, sound and boards operations and the cast are all students. The professors themselves will be in the audience, watching for future talent.

“They want to see our students and what they are doing, what they are interested in,” Beckman said. “They are looking towards student stage managers, designers and actors, in hopes of finding new talent.”

The spring “One Acts” have a unique dynamic, being completely student-run while able to use the university’s resources.

Beckman said the theater department supports “One Acts” financially, which is what makes it possible to have the One Acts be a part of the main stage theater season.

“I was so excited to be able to use the recourses from the university, and to experiment with what was possible with a budget and mentors to help,” she said.

Beckman and Weber started the planning process in the beginning of the semester. They have class two times a week, and spend between three or four hours during class time working on “One Acts.”

However, both directors devote extra time to ensure the quality of their productions. Between picking the acts, forming a director concept, casting the actors and rehearsals, Beckman said she generally put in an extra seven hours a week.

She said the time spent preparing will pay off though. Beckman is most looking forward to seeing the final production and sharing it with her friends and family.

“Many of my friends and classmates have heard that I am directing, but no one was allowed to see the rehearsals if they are not in the show,” Beckman said. “I am excited to sit back, let it all happen and show my friends and family what I have accomplished.”

As a double major in music and theater education, Beckman said she will most likely be directing plays in the future, as an after-school activity.

“I will be able to take this experience to a future career, which is something that I am looking forward to doing,” Beckman said.

The spring “One Acts” run May 15 and 16 in the Kjer Theatre on campus. For more information and ticket purchases, contact the Eau Claire Service Center.