Acadia’s 25th International MiniFest: January 24 to 27
By Rowena Martin, Artistic Director
MiniFest is a student-run festival that presents a selection of one-act plays to give you a fantastic evening. We’re international, as the seven shows picked come from a pool of over 700 plays submitted from around the world. This year, we’re putting on American plays from New York to Athens, and from Troy to Portland!
The MiniFest Committee met and planned for three months starting in September. After the beginning of the term, all interested students were invited to come to MiniFest Orientation, no previous theatre experience required! Here, after being briefed, students voted for their favourite positions: from directing, to acting, to crew positions. The committee then chose seven directors, the directors chose their actors, and the committee then distributed the remaining crew jobs.
After the December break, rehearsals started immediately, and tech crew work began. They have only two weeks to put together seven shows, meaning different sets and different cues for each show. Although most of the students are theatre majors, plenty of non-majors are involved: everyone gets to experience working in the Theatre! Amelia George, our technical director, notes the incredible opportunity students get in MiniFest to showcase their work, ideas, and designs, which students don’t usually get to do in academic productions.
“We create some beautiful art, both on and backstage,” Our artistic director, Rowena Martin, reflects and then smiles. “It’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of stress, but it’s also a lot of fun. I most enjoy seeing the end result and working with my committee. There’s always something happening that will make great story-telling three years from now!”
Katie Mintz, Chair of the play-reading committee, explains the culling process, where she and the play-reading committee first eliminated plays based on cast size and technical demands. They then read and ranked the remaining hundreds, and then narrowed them to 19. After that, the MiniFest Committee picked the top 10, and the directors picked their favourites! “It was a longer process than I expected. Honestly, I would get 300 plays at a time, narrow it down, pass it on, and then receive another 300. It was a lot of work. But it was worth it.”
Maddi Mackinnon, director of Young Blood, describes her play as seductive, awkward, and playful! Confessions of a Generation is described by Ashley Wells as being about silenced women finding their voices, and Stephanie Clervi describes Stranger Danger as an eerie satire about talking to strangers. Our remaining titles are What’s a Little Ax Between Friends, Love Somebody, Tactile Creatures, and She’s Not There. And be warned! – there’s adult content!
MiniFest opens in Lower Denton Theatre on January 24 at 7:30pm and closes on the 27. Tickets are $10 at the door. Come for a great night of shows, and help support the theatrical artists of the Acadia Theatre Company!