wwudrama Ends Another Successful Season

"The Festival of the Actors" finishes the year

By: Becky St. Clair

Entze's cast for the "Festival of the One Acts" show their appreciation after the show.

The 2007-2008 school year marked the 46th season for wwudrama.  Each year, wwudrama presents at least one drama production per quarter, finishing up the year with their annual “Festival of the Actors.”  

“The Festival of the Actors” changes each year and this year it is a series of student-written, -directed, and -performed vignettes.  The 2008 production is set in the “Awesome Coffee Shop,” and shows Saturday, June 7, at 9 p.m., and Sunday, June 8, at 8 p.m.  Admission to “The Festival of the Actors” is discounted, so general admission is $7, the student/senior rate is $6, and WWU students, faculty, and staff are $5.

By the end of the year, wwudrama will have produced four shows: “An Evening With John Steinbeck: Scenes from the Long Valley,” during fall quarter; “The Festival of One Acts” in winter quarter, and “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “The Festival of the Actors” during spring quarter.

“The drama program has explored the bounds of time and style this year; from modern to renaissance, from realistic to stylistic,” says David Crawford, Director of Drama at WWU.  

Crawford also expressed great appreciation for Jerry Entze, contract teacher for the English department, who was involved in each of the first three productions of the year.  Entze volunteered his time in order to be a part of a program he cares deeply about.

“It is all about his love for drama and the wwudrama program,” says Crawford.  “He does an amazing job here on this campus, and we are fortunate to have someone like him here.”

Entze’s involvement this year was all-encompassing.  To start the year, he adapted the short stories of John Steinbeck for the stage. The world premier then became, “An Evening with John Steinbeck: Scenes from the Long Valley”.  During the “Festival of One Acts,” Entze directed a one-act entitled “On the Dotted Line”.  Cyrano de Bergerac gave Entze the opportunity to serve as both assistant director and actor.

The stages of WWU are not new to Entze.  He first entered the scene as a student ten years ago as “plain clothes cop” in “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”  Over the last decade he has come a long way, this year seeing one of his own adaptations performed on the stage of his alma mater.

“What an exciting journey it has been,” says Entze.  “Certainly seeing the words I wrote come to life last fall tops the list, but there are special moments from each show that will always remain with me.”

Thanks to people like Entze and the many students, staff, and faculty who volunteered to help with the wwudrama productions this year, each performance was a smashing success.

“I could not be more pleased with the productions this year,” says Crawford.  “They each provided a great theatre experience for the audience.  I am excited to see the culmination of the work the students have put in for ‘The Festival of the Actors.’”

wwudrama is always looking for volunteers who are interested in being involved.  Whether you enjoy being onstage or behind the scenes, wwudrama has a place for you.  Auditions are held for each quarter’s production, and volunteers are always needed to run lights, costumes, set design, construction, and more.  

“The talent we have on this campus never ceases to amaze me,” says Entze.  “Watching students grow in self-confidence and learn to work together has proven to me that drama is much more than just ‘playing.’”  In fact, as a result of his positive experience here at WWU, Entze is considering working toward a masters degree in theatre arts.

If you are interested in being a part of wwudrama next year, contact David Crawford at david.crawford[at]wallawalla.edu or 509-527-2641.  Tickets for “The Festival of the Actors” are available online at drama.wallawalla.edu, or by calling 509-527-2158.

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