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Student plays featured at CSUB
  February 21, 2006
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

California State University, Bakersfield students will showcase their writing, directing and acting skills in the "Theater of New Voices" student-written one-act plays Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 23-26 in the CSUB Arena Theatre.

The plays will feature three original works written by students and selected by faculty. "It's a real learning experience for them," said Mandy Rees, CSUB theater professor. "It's great as a college student to have your work produced and performed in front of a live audience." Additionally two student composers and three student designers are participating in the project.

Each play is very different from the next.

Megan Darmofal, a CSUB senior theater major, is playing Joan in Francisco Aragon's "A Social Political Melodrama on the Subject of Makeup," a story of searching for social identity. "(It's Joan's wedding day and) she is struggling with getting married," Darmofal explained. "The love of her life surprises her and comes to the wedding. She struggles with the stability of marriage and the instability that the true love brings. She's trying to figure out how to define herself."

Darmafol said this piece, directed by Marcella Dow, has some serious underlying social points but has a "lot of laughs."

"Loss of Time," written by Gerald Rodriguez, deals with the reconciliation between a father and son. "The story moves backwards chronologically," said Jeff Locke, a CSUB senior theater major who is directing the play. "It's similar to the current procedural dramas that are out right now." Locke explained the father and son haven't spoken since the mother died and the son's girlfriend is trying to help get them to talk to each other. And because of the way everything plays out backwards, "You see how the son got the courage to do what he did," Rees added.

This is the first time for Locke to sit in the director's seat. "It's scary at times but it's also exhilarating," he smiled. "As a director you're constantly demanding more time and you see the characters so completely and clearly."

Rovi Ann D.S. Moren has created a meeting in hell in "Your Number's Up." In this piece, directed by Travis Glenn, people are waiting to be punished for their sins and a person steps out of line. "Lucifer and Marcus challenge each other and end up learning a little about themselves," Rees said. "This set was the most adventurous."

The scenic designers have drawn from the works of famous artists and used their work as the backdrop to their sets. "It's tricky because you have three very different plays that have to share the same space," Rees said.

An opening night reception is scheduled.

The curtain will rise at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 23-25, with matinee performances Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 and 26, beginning at 2 p.m. Tickets for "Theatre of New Voices" are $10 general admission, $8 seniors, and $5 for students with ID. Limited seating is available and the plays are adult themed. For more information, please call (661) 654-3150.