Original theatrical works showcased at IndieFest

The Owl and Nightingale Players, Gettysburg College's student theatrical group, celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2014. Photo credit to gettysburg.edu

The Owl and Nightingale Players, Gettysburg College’s student theatrical group, celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2014. Photo credit to gettysburg.edu

By Emily Pierce, Staff Writer

For those looking to escape—or perhaps confront—what troubled them this weekend, IndieFest provided a very unique combination of art and entertainment.

The festival, which took place in the Stevens Black Box Theater in Gettysburg’s own Kline building, has been a campus tradition for over 12 years. With its emphasis on student creations, IndieFest consistently attracts young writers, directors, actors and many more to the limelight.

Stevens was alight on Saturday, April 2 with students, faculty and community members who came together to support the department. After some brief technical difficulties, the Owl and Nightingale board of directors introduced the program.

Nikoleta Mountanos demonstrated great promise with her musical revue Share All Secrets. A well-curated performance of Broadway songs pertaining to identity, Secrets followed four students through their attempts to understand each other, embracing facets of their own lives along the way. An original script connected musical numbers from such hits as The Last Five Years and Wicked.

The revue was followed by a smattering of performances from some of the graduating Owl and Nightingale members, a fixture lovingly referred to as “The Senior Follies.” This year, the audience was treated to a dramatic monologue, acoustic music and a wordless, avant-garde melodrama featuring a banana. Seeing seniors relax and share their passions provided a bittersweet edge to the festivities.

Next was a staged reading of The Leap, a one-act play about the tensions surrounding a small North Dakotan family in 1983. I can hardly provided unbiased thoughts here, as I was the play’s director and author. What I will freely express is my gratitude for the opportunity to premiere another work at IndieFest. I hope to have shed light on some of the problems surrounding societal perceptions of disability, both physical and mental.

Jared Richardson then gave the audience a sneak peek into his upcoming webseries, Office Hours. The clip followed the misadventures of an English professor, fresh out of graduate school, attempting to connect with his students at any cost. The series will most likely officially premiere on YouTube this fall, a very exciting prospect.

Finally, one of IndieFest’s longest-running traditions was showcased: Cliche P.I. Most of the players originated from Shots in the Dark, Gettysburg College’s improvisational comedy troupe; the team collaborated to find a movie none of them had seen, then acted out what they believed the plot to be, through the eyes of Chuck Vagin, a hardboiled detective. Thanks to their comical use of archetypes and ever-prevalent wit, I no longer harbor any curiosity towards Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

Each year, the board of directors for the Owl and Nightingale Players sends out a call for submissions. Their next step is to approve each submission; this process includes discussion of budget, copyright issues and technical needs.  IndieFest was originally scheduled for the last weekend in March, and the change in schedule also moved the deadline for submissions; this may have contributed to what was a relatively short festival.

Brynn Hambley, treasurer of the Owl and Nightingale Players, did agree that more submissions would have made for a very enjoyable festival. “However,” she said, “this festival was longer than the year before. Hopefully, next year can be even more full!”

After such a delightful program, I would certainly hope so.

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Author: Web Editor

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