26 February 2019
“Concise Cuts”, a play consisting of three comedic one-acts, ran through last Sunday, Feb. 17.
The play had six different showings for the public, with its opening night being Feb. 8 at 8:00 p.m. The performances were held in the Osborne Studio Theater at the Ent Center for the Arts. The show was free to students and $6 for the general public. The production consisted of 20 cast and crew members who dedicated over a month of their time solely to the play.
Robert Rais, the director of the play, has been a faculty member for 10 years and has now directed three major projects at UCCS, while directing for a total of 25 years. Rais came up with the name for the three one acts.
Auditions for “Concise Cuts” were held in the beginning of last December, and the first read-through was the week before winter break began. Practices began the week prior to the start of the spring semester and went on almost daily since then.
Director Rais said in an email that there were strenuous hours of work put in. “The rehearsal process was approximately three and a half weeks and 75-80 hours over that period.” According to Rais, the cast and crew put in a lot of time, work and dedication and from that had a successful outcome.
The three one acts are connected by diversity and revolution, and have small things throughout them that relate them.
The first act, Los Vendidos, addresses the perception of the Mexican American in our culture and was written by Revolutionary playwright Luis Valdez.
In between the two acts was a short monologue to make an easy transition.
The second act, called “Hotline,” dealt with our perception of mental health. This act was written by Elaine May, who was at the forefront of women comedy writers as a member of The Compass Players. “Without her, there is no Tina Fey, for example,” Rais said. It is a dark yet humorous play that deals with suicide.
Finally, “The Bear”, by Anton Chekov, examines relationships and takes place on the verge of the Russian Revolution, both socially and artistically. It deals with a man who comes to collect debt from a widow and the two end up falling in love.
“This play bridges the gap between traditional Vaudeville and social commentary of the existing class system. And they are funny.” Rais described the themes of the play by saying, “I hope they [the audience] take away some laughter, some joy, and to think about how these three plays reflect on our current social climate.”
Gene Bennett, the stage manager of the production, was happy with how the shows went, explaining how the first weekend of performances went. “Saturday we were six seats from full, and the theater seats about 70-75 people.” The other two shows from the first weekend were successful as well with more than half the theater full.
Bennett’s job as the stage manager involves various duties. He is in charge of run-throughs, theme changes, the light board and making sure all props and actors are in the right place at the right time. Bennett is a senior at UCCS majoring in theatre. He switched to this major and has been a part of the productions at UCCS for about two years now.
The six performances of the show were successful and went by for the cast and crew very quickly. Director Rais talked about the show and how he thinks the performances went, “I think they are successful, but I am biased.”