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Students rehearse for their performance of the play "No Exit".Students will take center stage in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh theatre department’s upcoming event, An Evening of One-Acts, to be held March 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Experimental Theatre.

The annual event typically provides audiences with a series of one-act plays directed, produced and acted out exclusively by UW Oshkosh students. This year, the event will feature only one single-act play, No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre, a gloomily comedic portrayal of the afterlife in which three dead characters experience eternal torment by being forced to interact with each other in a locked room.

Tickets can be purchased online now, by phone at (920) 424-4417 or through the box office located in the lobby of the theatre building. UW Oshkosh students receive a discounted price of $4 while the price is $5 for the general public.

Like all theatre department productions at UW Oshkosh, An Evening of One-Acts uses an open audition process, allowing all students at the University the opportunity to participate. Luke Scorcio,  director for the evening, said open auditions allow students of any major to experience the value of theater.

Scorcio is also the president of the Theatre Arts Board, a student committee that he said is a “unique system” dedicated to bridging the gap between students and faculty in the theatre department. The Theatre Arts Board is involved in the selection process for upcoming performances, provides funding for An Evening of One-Acts and hosts an annual playwriting contest.

This year’s event includes about 15 University students who work on the production, an opportunity that Scorcio said benefits all who are involved.

“The shows that we do enrich the campus community,” he said.

Giovanna Martin is one of those students involved in the production, playing a young, high-society woman of Estelle. Martin has been involved in numerous theatre productions in the past but said it is a particular privilege to be chosen to play such a complex character.

“Being chosen by one of my peers, Luke Scorcio, to be a part of No Exit was a huge compliment,” Martin said. “It’s special to be able to work with him as a director and hopefully make him proud.”

John Koker, dean of the College of Letters and Science at UW Oshkosh, has had a long interest in theater that extends back to his involvement in high school productions. He said the event is a unique opportunity for the University’s theatre students to gain experience in producing a performance from start to finish without faculty involvement

In addition, Koker said arts events at UW Oshkosh assist the University in its mission to advance liberal arts education.

“The arts can be considered a creative form of communication to discuss, debate, reflect and comment on issues and events,” he said. “They also serve as a way to provide and foster community engagement. All events are open to the public.”

Martin said all of the UW Oshkosh theatre department productions provide an opportunity for University students and the community to connect through entertainment.

The theatre department’s last event was a production of The Zoo Story and The American Dream by Edward Albee. The department hosts two main stage shows, apart from An Evening of One-Acts, each semester.

Following An Evening of One-Acts, the theatre department will host a production of The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux on April 24-27 at 7:30 p.m. and April 28 at 2 p.m. The play follows Countess Aurelia and her fellow outcasts as they attempt to thwart the plans of corrupt corporate executives to dig up the streets of Paris for the valuable oil believed to lie underneath.

Whether it be a dark comedy, a commentary on the “American dream” or the story of an eccentric Parisian’s plot to overthrow corporate greed, Koker said the University’s theatre events are a valuable part of the UW Oshkosh community.

“I sometimes think that our high quality theatre productions, concerts and exhibits are among the best kept secrets in Oshkosh,” he said.

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