On Feb. 15, student-run theater group Studio 301 Productions will present “A Night of Shorts!” The program consists of two radio plays, Help Me, Doctor and Lion Hunting, and a one-act piece, Sure Thing, all of which are directed by undergraduates.
Studio 301 is now in its 10th season, having started in 2004. It is an entirely student-run undergraduate club, and they put on one show per quarter. Past productions have included RENT, Cabaret, The Last Five Years, Beyond Therapy and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“Studio 301 is known for putting on bigger productions in the past,” said Audrey Shih, a fourth-year English major and director of Sure Thing in an email. “In an effort to switch things up a bit and try new things, Kevin Adamski, one of the other directors for the show, and a few of the Studio 301 officers came up with the idea of putting together something much more free form with low time commitment.”
A radio play is a purely acoustic theater piece, usually performed by a panel of performers. The medium has seen a resurgence due to podcasting and online radio streaming. Lion Hunting is originally by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, while Help Me, Doctor premiered on WireTap with Jonathan Goldstein.
“Usually our productions are a play or musical, so this is the first time we have ever presented a ‘festival’ of shorter pieces,” said Marissa Saravis, a fourth-year dramatic art major and president of Studio 301 in an email.
Shih said to expect a more relaxed and freeform showcase in “A Night of Shorts!” due to the less formally produced nature of the acts.
“Originally, [Adamski] expressed interest in directing a radio play and then Studio 301 felt it was a great opportunity to turn it into a ‘Night of Shorts’ to feature a few short theater pieces… [I] wanted to direct Sure Thing for a long time, and felt this was the perfect opportunity to showcase it, [so] I accepted,” Shih said.
Sure Thing’s plot watches a happenstance meeting of two characters, whose conversation is repeatedly reset by the use of a bell, the conversation correcting itself whenever one of them responds negatively to the other.
Kevin Adamski, who majored in dramatic art and graduated last year, has been sporadically involved in Studio 301 since 2009. He is directing the radio play Help Me Doctor, which is also called Oh! The Places You Won’t Go. It is based on a correspondence between Franz Kafka’s Gregor Samsa and Dr. Seuss.
“The story addresses themes of hope and despair in a unique way using recognizable characters. I really wanted a way to share this story, but due to its short length I knew it wouldn’t necessarily stand on its own as a performance,” Adamski said in an email.
Zoë Samborski, a fourth-year dramatic art major and publicity coordinator for Studio 301, said audiences can expect an evening full of laughs and quick-paced stories.
Studio 301 will be producing a large-scale performance in the spring, and auditions will take place on March 31 and April 1.
“Studio 301 will be presenting Seussical the Musical, opening May 9 in the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre, running both that weekend and the next. It’s sure to be a fun, colorful, over-the-top production,” Saravis said.
Doors for “A Night of Shorts!” will open at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 in Lab A of Wright Hall. Admission is free, but it is suggested that attendees donate $5 to $10.