Nov 02, 2022
SBU Theater will present “Shortchanged: One-Act Festival 8” Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 9-12, at St. Bonaventure University’s Garret Theater, located adjacent to Devereux Hall on the SBU campus. All shows start at 7:30 p.m.
This is the SBU Theater program’s eighth one-act festival in 20 years and this festival is all comedies.
“Shortchanged” features comic plays by Samuel Beckett, Adam Szymkowicz, David Ives, Kelly McAllister, Itamar Moses and Marco Ramirez. The oldest of the plays, Beckett’s “Act Without Words,” was written in 1956 and the newest, Adam Szymkowicz’s “Moneypenny Waits,” was written in 2015.
The cast of 10 student actors perform various roles in seven plays that run between 5 and 15 minutes each.
“The whole evening is fast-paced and very funny,” said SBU Theater director Ed. Simone, Ph.D. “Along the way we meet insects in love, a talking cat, and characters from mythology, TV and the movies.”
Simone adds that these are grown-up comedies.
“Each playwright offers a unique style of humor about real-life issues. David Ives, for example, is an old favorite. The New York Times called him ‘the master of the short form.’ We've done several of his plays before and audiences love them.”
The “Shortchanged” cast includes returning actors Bianca Billoni and Jesus Martinez, who appeared in SBU Theater’s acclaimed production of “We Live by the Sea”; and Autumn Reed and Meghan Baehl, who were featured in last year’s premiere production of “American Characters.”
Joining them are SBU Theater newcomers Joscelyn Jackson, Josh Brill, Jack Birtch and Cameron Carr. Rounding out the cast are Madi Wood and Ashley Estabrook, who have worked with SBU Theater behind the scenes, but are taking the stage for the first time in “Shortchanged.”
“I’ve worked backstage since 2012,” said Madi Wood, who, in addition to acting, is also in charge of props for the show. “However, this has been a great way to step out of my comfort zone, try something new and meet some great people. I’m glad I decided to do this show.”
“Shortchanged” is Billoni’s third SBU Theater production, but first comedy.
“Doing comedy is different than any other type of acting,” she said. “You have to allow yourself to be a fool at times, but that’s what it’s all about. When you can fully embrace the character, that’s when it becomes funny.”
“Shortchanged: One-Act Festival 8” is staged with the audience on three sides, with no seat more than four rows from the stage.
“We love the three-quarter staging,” said Simone. “The intimacy of the audience being so close to the action makes the show more exciting and the comedy is even funnier. It’s a great experience for our student actors.”
The production is designed by SBU Theater’s technical director Janell Clingenpeel, MFA.
“This show has been a fun challenge, stretching me in new ways as a designer. It’s been a delight to watch these fun characters develop and make me laugh,” said Clingenpeel. “I hope our audience will find joy in this show as much as I have.”
Audiences are advised that some of the one-acts in “Shortchanged” contain adult language and sexual humor.
Reserved seats are $8 for the general public and $6 for senior citizens, students, and SBU employees.
For reservations, phone the box office at 716-375-2494. With fewer than 100 seats per performance, advance reservations are encouraged. Any unsold tickets will be available as free student rush seats with a valid student ID. One student ticket per ID, in person only, will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the QCA box office the day of the show.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.