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Students Bring Original Works to Stage

Breakaway produces a series of one-act plays written and directed by Ursinus students.

From the writers, directors and producers to the cast and crew, Breakaway, a student-run theater organization, is making its mark on the Ursinus theater scene.

Last year, Breakaway started producing full-length student plays, such as The Playground­—written by Angela Bey ’19—and various one-act plays.  

This year’s full length play, Argos Burning, was written by Arthur Robinson ’17. Robinson’s play will be staged Dec. 7 through Dec. 9 in the Black Box Studio Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center. His previous work, Mook Fruit, which was a collection of three one-act plays, was produced at the 17th annual Ursinus Fringe Festival last year.

In addition to Argos Burning, Breakaway is producing a series of one-act plays written, directed and produced by students of various academic backgrounds, technical skills and interests.

“We have a bunch of theater majors who are usually on the board, but we have a bunch of people who are science majors working on sound or lighting,” says Mya Flood, vice president and artistic director of Breakaway. “We have people that we pull from media and communications, or the arts, when working with costumes…[it’s] nice to have that interdisciplinary work.”    

The process to get to opening night is a year-long commitment, with plenty of ups and downs. However, the journey from script to stage is enormously satisfying. When asked what is rewarding about working with student-run productions, Clara Kiss, production manager of Breakaway, said, “When you have a student-written piece, and you search for a director, and that director brings something completely new to the table, I think that’s pretty rewarding.”

Flood also weighed in on the rewarding aspects of working on Breakaway. She discussed the impact writers and other creators have when seeing their work translated from paper to live stage.

“Around this time, we were doing Angela’s The Playground, and that was the first time that they saw the play fully staged, which is really exciting. It’s really nice to have people that are writing things, especially with the one acts too, that get to see what their workshop work looks like in full scale.”  

Not only is Breakaway a bold exercise in artistic endeavors, but it is a great way to practice theater production skills, Flood says. This year, Breakaway is producing Ursinus student scripts of all majors and disciplines, and scripts of various thematic contexts.

Students are encouraged to submit their script drafts for Breakaway’s spring one-act plays by late October. If a play is submitted and accepted, the writer has the chance to be as involved as they desire, whether through attending workshops or supporting the cast and crew on opening night.

In the future, Breakaway is also considering getting in touch with more alumni, and with the founders of Breakaway. With its challenges and rewards, Breakaway is a valuable on-campus experience with prospective avenues for its future.

To purchase tickets for Argos Burning, email bsp@ursinus.edu. —By Madison Bradley ’18