Theatre students demonstrate directing, playwriting, acting skills in 13th year of “Shorts”

For the past 13 years, West Linn theatre students have been given the opportunity to direct, cast and even write a one-act play by themselves. This year, four student-directed plays, including two original plays by students, will be showcased at “Shorts 13” for the next three nights.

Emily Axelrod, senior, is directing her original play “The Grannynappers.” In this play, Hank (Riley Olson, sophomore) is struggling to find happiness. In an attempt to make him feel better, his brother Frank (Brad Stone, junior) kidnaps a slew of grandmothers to make Hank feel loved. This piece is described by Axelrod as a “fast-paced comedy,” and it is expected to include both physical and dialogue-based humor.

Tennessee Williams’ 1941 play “The Case of the Crushed Petunias” is being directed by Ailish Duff, senior. Dorothy Simple (Lauren Russ, sophomore) is an employee of a flower shop who is trapped in her routine lifestyle. A young man (James Topping, sophomore) tramples her petunias, making her rather angry, but the man is prepared to help her escape this dull life.

The 1920s play “If Men Played Cards as Women Do” is being directed by Rhianna Turner, junior, and Paden Bryck, senior. A “delightful comment on gender politics,” according to Turner and Bryck, it concerns four men who gather to play a card game, reading lines that would be more characteristic of women. The roles, written for male actors, will be played by four women who will portray men.

Ashley Welp, senior, wrote the fourth play of the showcase, “Help Wanted.” Directed by Caroline Hitesman, it is a story about two women, Meg (Roxanne Stathos, junior) and Ingrid (Olivia Klugman, freshman) who are struggling to find romance and employment. The cast also employs Griffin Ollar, sophomore, and Hayley Campa, senior, who will portray many stereotypes throughout the play, such as “interviewers, people on a first date, and… ‘Help Wanted’ ads.”

Shorts 13 will run at 7 p.m. on May 10-12 in the auditorium. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. Students pay $5 and adults pay $8.