Powder and Wig’s One-Acts Festival leads audiences through campus

On Friday, April 10, Colby’s student run theater club, Powder and Wig (P&W) hosted its annual One-Acts festival. Dating back as early as the 1950s, the festival is a reoccurring event that offers students the opportunity to perform work written by other students. What makes the show most unique is that Powder & Wig chooses various locations around campus to perform each ten-minute act, and the audience travels from one location to another to view the performances. The mobility of the festival makes for a particularly interactive, exciting and engaging viewer experience. 

This year’s festival consisted of three acts written by a diverse group that included Colby alumnus Will Hochman ’14, a Colby firstyear and a professional writer. After gathering in Pulver, P&W members led the audience to Runnals for the first act. The act, written by Hochman and directed by Olivia Gould ’16, told the relatable story of young college graduate, Mike, who, in a moment of serendipity, runs into his ex-girlfriend, Sailor, while on the subway in New York City.  After commenting on what a small world it is for them to have run into each other, Mike expresses his lingering feelings for Sailor.  Throughout the remainder of the train ride, he works to rekindle their romance by trying to convince Sailor to agree to go out for coffee. The heartwarming and humorous story had the audience smiling and laughing, feeling satisfied in the end when Sailor finally agreed to Mike’s invitation.

Then the audience was led out of Runnals and across campus to the next act, which took place outside under the Mud bridge. In a poetic, rhyming fashion, the act told the mysterious story of a murdered cat. The audience huddled around the crime scene while the investigator gathered clues in an effort to discover who could have murdered the cat, involving the audience in the process of working to solve the mystery.

Afterward, the audience walked to AMS basement for the third and final act, which was an emotionally moving monologue that grappled with the difficult questions of what it means to live, to die and to love. A character named Julia delivered the monologue, contemplating the beauty of simply being able to breathe. She spoke of her intense love for her partner, Becca, and the difficulties they face as a same-sex couple in a world that can be cruel and unaccepting of differences. In a surprising twist, the audience discovered that Julia’s subconscious was delivering the monologue, as Julia was actually in the hospital, unresponsive and unable to breathe. Becca sat by her side, begging her to survive and to find a way to breathe again.

The One-Acts festival contained three very different, but equally impressive and enjoyable acts. In 10 short minutes and with very few actors and actresses, the acts told powerful and moving stories.

Even though the festival is produced by P&W, anyone can submit a proposal to direct or audition for a role in one of the acts. During this festival, three students made their debut appearances.  P&W member Olivia Gould emphasized the abundance of opportunities available for those

interested in participating in events like the One-Acts: “Powder and Wig is always excited to have new members, so keep an eye out for announcements of auditions and productions,” she said.

P&W’s season is almost over, but be sure to catch the final show, Almost, Maine, which debuts on April 24th.

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