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Have you ever had a moment of realization that’s quickly chased by sheer terror? It usually only lasts for a minute or two, but during that time you can’t help but think, “What have I gotten myself into?”

I had that moment this time last year after I agreed to help direct this year’s One Act Play Festival. Sure, I’d directed shows before, but a whole festival? That was new to me. Even the thought of sharing the responsibility with the great Diane Rogers didn’t quell the adrenaline rush that flooded my brain with momentary panic.

I realized the project I had just agreed to tackle was significant and that others would be looking forward to it. So, as the panic receded, I began to let the challenge sink in. What could I do but vow to give it my best effort?

So what is the One Act Play Festival you ask? The festival is made up of six short original one act plays that are chosen, directed, and performed by locals. Each play is carefully selected based on various factors including length (usually not longer than fifteen minutes each) strength of the writing, character development, cast size, and a few other criteria. Each night all six plays are showcased and audiences will have the opportunity to choose their favorite!

Through my involvement, I had been able to see the festival grow each year from a small night of short plays into a greatly anticipated event. The festival initially started out as a sort of trial run for new directors, playwrights, and actors; giving them the opportunity to experiment and grow with shorter bite sized theatre pieces. It has quickly flourished and expanded, but is still a great way for new playwrights, directors and actors to test the theatre waters. Word has definitely reached the ears of the community and beyond…

This year alone we had over 374 original play submissions from all over the world and great enthusiasm from community members to act and direct. Diane and I, with a team of readers, had the Herculean task of whittling down those numbers to six play selections. We were looking to provide a well-rounded night of theatre: a little comedy, a little drama, a little something for everyone, and I really think we have succeeded! I am very impressed with the directing and acting talent we have been able to bring on board this year.

All of our festival directors and actors bring with them a range of theatre experience and an abundance of enthusiasm, wit, humor, and talent. I am very pleased with the pieces we have had the honor to be trusted with, and I sincerely hope to share them with you! Please come out to the festival being hosted at the Central Regional Rappahannock library on 1201 Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on April 11-12 at 7:30pm, and Sunday April 13 at 2pm. You can also find more information online at Stage Door Productions website. We hope to see you there!

One Act Festival Assistant Director Kati Bergman

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