October 31, 2017
Liv-Marie Damm and Skye Coyne in Parasite, 2017

By Sarah Schreck
Project Spotlight, the University of Central Florida’s premiere student developmental theatre organization, will be premiering four new works in its bi-annual One Act Festival this weekend. Each production is written, directed, produced, and performed by students, and performances are open to all with free admission. Performances begin at 7:30 Thursday, November 2, through Saturday, November 4, and at 2:00 on Sunday, November 5.

Each performance will feature two productions. On Thursday and Saturday, audiences can catch Rollplay and A Play About a Bar. Rollplay, written by Robby Allten and directed by Bruce Costella, follows the hilarious exploits of a ragtag group of adventures bumbling through a fantasy world as part of a tabletop role-playing game done in real time. A Play About a Bar, written by Colin Brooks and directed by Alex Storer, is an examination of a failed relationship as two men grapple with the echoes of their shared past.

Storer shared about his experience directing a show with heavy themes and mature content, “Although directing my first show has been hard at times, I’m glad I chose a script that deals with some difficult and relatable issues. Both of my actors, Mike Gleason and Pablo Lorenzo, are professional, flexible, committed to their roles, and believable. I didn’t pick A Play About A Bar for fun, I picked it because I thought it was an important story to tell.”

On Friday and Sunday, audiences will be able to see Innocence, written by Matt Ubl and directed by Hanna Allison. Innocence follows an encounter between an eager college student and his soon-to-be 10-year-old step sister that adds a new perspective to the harsh realities of the world. First Miss, a heartwarming story of missed opportunities and connections between two adorably awkward people written by Sarah Schreck and directed by Liz Calvert, will follow.

“Directing my final show at Project Spotlight is bittersweet, but I couldn’t have asked for a better experience,” shares Calvert. “I am so lucky to have a marvelous cast that is truly bringing this story to life. The playwright’s story of a missed opportunity made my heart sing, but also challenged my skill as a director. I can’t wait to give audiences the gift this experience has given me.”

Project Spotlight has been producing work at UCF since 2004, and has produced exclusively original student work for the past four years. Each year, Project Spotlight hosts two one-act festivals, a ten-minute play competition, and presents one full-length production at the Dr. Phillips Center as part of UCF Celebrates the Arts. Project Spotlight is led by the artistic direction of Jon-Paul Schaut.

“We are so excited to showcase a semester’s worth of hard work,” says Schaut. “You wouldn’t be able to tell from the performances, but these students have balanced full-time coursework while dedicating themselves to producing completely original works. It’s so rewarding to see both the students and the shows grow and thrive.”