Ty Fraser tries to buy a wheelchair from Brennen Silk, while Willem Roelants and Jesse Wilson look on during rehearsal for Wheel Chair by VIU students Roelants and Aidan Sidhu in the Mike Taugher Studio (clockwise from bottom). The play is part of the Satyr Players One-Act Festival. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

VIU student-run theatre company to present one-act play festival

Satyr Players staging five plays during two-day event March 20-21

After receiving more entries than expected, this year’s Satyr Players One-Act Festival will feature an extra play and will include work by playwrights from as far as California.

The Satyr Players, Vancouver Island University’s student-run theatre company, holds it two-day festival every year to help its members gain experiences mounting plays on their own at a smaller scale.

“It gives them an opportunity to try this out in a less stressful, smaller type of event,” Satyr president Darrian Gaetz said, adding that it’s also an opportunity for newer playwrights.

“I know some writers don’t always get the chance to write plays, so a one-act is kind of a nice way to just test the waters of that and see if they like writing.”

This year, due to increased interest from a wider pool of entries, the One-Act Festival will feature five plays, including one from the United States. The festival takes place at VIU’s Mike Taugher Studio on March 20 and 21.

This year’s plays are Flown the Coup, a comedy about a university class overthrowing their professor by Nanaimo’s Jesse Wilson; Family Matters, about uncovering family secrets in DNA by Nanaimo residents Mark Smith and Anne Drozd; Wheel Chair, about a man negotiating to buy a wheelchair written by VIU students Willem Roelants and Aidan Sidhu; Yes, Chef, which concerns a head chef facing the challenges of a new kitchen staff by JP Meldrum of Victoria; and Stuck, about an airport barista and a mysterious frequent flyer by Scott Mullen of Burbank, Calif.

Gaetz said the theatre company makes its selections with the main goal of offering as great a variety of plays in one night as possible.

“There are some comedic plays, there are some plays that are more serious and we also put on plays that share a message and that are trying to either spread awareness of something or that is trying to maybe give the audience a perspective that they normally wouldn’t have been able to see,” he said.

WHAT’S ON … Satyr Players’ One-Act Festival takes place at Mike Taugher Studio, VIU Building 330, Room 109, on March 20 and 21. Doors at 7 p.m., shows start at 7:30. Tickets are $5, available online and at the door.


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