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Theatre student directed shows set

For the second show of the 2019-2020 season, Longwood University Theatre Department is bringing you “The One-Act Experience”! An evening of two one act plays, each directed by a different theater major student.

Up first, Harold Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter” directed by junior Matthew Howard. Pinter’s play, called “Small but perfectly formed” is about two hit-men, Ben and Gus, who are waiting in a basement room for their assignment. As the play begins, Ben, the senior member of the team, is reading a newspaper, and Gus, the junior member, is tying his shoes. Gus asks Ben many questions as he gets ready for their job and tries to make tea. They argue over the semantics of “light the kettle” and “put on the kettle.” Ben continues reading his paper for most of the time, occasionally reading excerpts of it to Gus. Ben gets increasingly animated, and Gus’s questions become more pointed, at times nearly nonsensical. In the back of the room is a dumbwaiter, which delivers occasional food orders. This is mysterious and both characters seem to be puzzled why these orders keep coming; the basement is clearly not outfitted as a restaurant kitchen.

The second play will be directed by Aaron Burstein, a senior, and is James McLure’s “Lone Star.” The story takes place in the cluttered backyard of a small-town Texas bar in 1972. Roy, a brawny, macho type who had once been a local high-school hero, is back in town after a stint in Vietnam and realizes that all he has left are memories of his glory days, his adoring younger brother Ray, his wife Elizabeth, and his now crumbling ‘59 pink Thunderbird. Joined by Ray, Roy sets about consuming a case of Lone Star beer while regaling his brother with tales of his military and amorous exploits. But with the arrival of Cletis, the newlywed son of the local hardware store owner, the underpinnings of Roy’s world gradually begin to collapse.

Performances for “The One-Act Experience” will be held in the Mainstage Theatre in the Communication Studies and Theatre Arts Center (CSTAC), Nov. 13-16 at 7p.m., with a matinee Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets for this, and all upcoming Longwood Theatre shows are available on the website, Longwoodtickets.com. Tickets may be purchased at the Box Office, Tuesday through Friday from 2-6 p.m. This is an evening recommended for mature audiences due to some language and content. Longwood Theatre’s first show of the season sold out four out of six shows; so don’t wait to get your tickets