From an Idea to a Production

Hello! My name is Matt and I’m the dramaturg for the Short Attention Span Theatre 10-minute play festival. What SAST (as we affectionately call it) entails is a performance of seven student written, directed, acted, and designed 10-minute plays. It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to come together and go through the new play process, complete from writing the scripts to performing them in front of an audience. As a dramaturg, I get to help the writers and directors craft the kind of show they wanted to present!

I had the chance to speak with three of the people involved. I interviewed seniors Sam Kleyh and Tyler Botill, director and playwright of one play Leaving, respectively. I also spoke with Devon Marie Trop, another senior and the playwright of Sins. I learned a lot, let me tell you.

My first question was “where do these ideas for plays come from?” Devon got her inspiration from a Pinterest writing prompt, and Tyler’s came more out of necessity, having to write a short script for a class. “Out of that was born this idea of a man and a woman at a rainy bus stop, and that idea sprouted into this play that I really fell in love with,” Tyler says. “Janine (professor and SAST faculty advisor) strongly encouraged me to submit it for SAST. Now here we are. My show is being produced.” Sam responds with a “hooray!”

The writers were able to workshop with the director and actors, helping to polish the scripts. “Our classmate who was cast as Irene (a character in the show) Whitney Black, plays Irene very differently than I had envisioned her,” Tyler mentions, “but I ended up preferring Whitney’s version to my version. It plays more like something that would exist in the real world, and I really liked that. I continued to make rewrites and took this into account rather than my old interpretation of who Irene used to be.”

“We had minor script changes,” Sam says, “and it’s always fascinating to see the interaction between the actors and Tyler, Tyler and myself, and all that. We still have a little bit of technical work to do, but it’s fascinating to watch full run-throughs. I love watching this.”

“I thought I might actually want to pursue playwriting, so this let me get one of my pieces produced and onstage,” Devon shares. “It’ll be a cool thing to say that not only am I a playwright, but I’ve had something produced.” Similar to UVU’s SAST, there are also 10-minute play festivals all across the United States. Devon adds that she’s planning on continuing with rewrites after this production, eventually submitting Sins to a similar festival.

I ask everyone what their favorite part of SAST is, and the response is unanimous: “That it is completely done by students,” Devon says.

“We’re all students, we’re all growing, we’re all learning together,” Tyler says.

“If there’s one thing that I appreciate about my four years of being in UVU’s theatre department, it’s that they try as much as they can to give opportunities for students to be doing things in whatever specific field of theatre that they want to go into,” Sam adds. Indeed, SAST is a showcase of the brilliant talent and efforts of students from across the department (and outside as well), and is an exciting premiering space for new work.

“If you want to see truly unique theatre, go see SAST,” Tyler shares.

“I second that,” Sam adds.

And I third it.

While the Short Attention Span Theatre features a wide range of content and topics, audience members should note that at least one of the plays would be considered R-rated if it were a movie. Children are not encouraged to attend.

 

April 4 and 5 at 7:00

April 6 at 2:00 and 7:30

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