15 Minute Play Festival keeps audiences laughing with student productions

 Students perform funny and dramatic '15-Minute Plays' at Shenker lecture hall on March 24, 2018. we did not have anyone take pictures from the ballard. (Judah Shingleton/The Daily Campus)

Students perform funny and dramatic '15-Minute Plays' at Shenker lecture hall on March 24, 2018.
we did not have anyone take pictures from the ballard. (Judah Shingleton/The Daily Campus)


Student theater group Page to Stage held their second annual 15 Minute Play Festival this past weekend. The show featured seven different plays, many of which were written by members of Page to Stage. The majority of the seven shows were comedies, but two diverted from the rest with a more serious tone.

The concept of capitalism was surprisingly discussed several times throughout the night, the first being in Eric Pjojian’s comedy, “The Continued Existence of a Salesman.” Pjojian’s play told the story of two office workers discovering that their boss had kidnapped “the spirit of the free market” in order to trick people into buying snake oil. The two office workers had to help the personified free market escape the clutches of the “gold man with a sack” in order to restore capitalism.

William Nicol’s “Stand-off-ish” also used comedy to explore capitalism. Nicol’s short story portrayed a standoff between two thieves who were trying to steal a diamond in order to pay off their debt. The show was funny, politically aware and just the right amount of random.

Fourth-semester costume design major Becky Chalmers particularly liked “The Continued Existence of a Salesman” and “Stand-off-ish,” stating “I like the more comedic aspects, it was really funny when they throw in really random, out-of-the-blue stuff that you weren’t expecting.”

Two shows took an interesting approach by consistently breaking the fourth wall. Joshua Collins’ “To Be Famous” featured a play-within-a-play, detailing the story of a playwriting major struggling to write the final script of his undergraduate career. The play took place in two parts, making it the longest show of the night.

“A Murdered Mystery,” by Brandon Whitburn and Emily Cote also broke the fourth wall, with actors’ often breaking character throughout the murder mystery inspired show.

Gary Silver’s “The Philadelphia” took an interesting approach to comedy by using the stereotypes associated with each city to describe the characters state of minds.

Matt Bader’s “Sure Thing” and Cole Petano’s “My Very Elegant Mother” stood out as the only two serious shows of the night. “Sure Thing” played with time, showing the many ways a conversation between two strangers could play out. “My Very Elegant Mother” explored the broken relationship between a mother and daughter, who relied heavily on her uncle after it was revealed that the mother was marrying a near stranger.

The story portrayed in “My Very Elegant Mother” touched eighth semester animal science major Janna Divico. Divico enjoyed how the play kept her in suspense, stating “I liked watching the twist unfold. You didn’t really know what was happening at the beginning and you could kind of piece things together as the dialogue went on.”

Despite preferring the sentimental shows, Divico enjoyed that the 15 Minute Play Festival featured a wide variety of shows. “I felt like the shorter shows could highlight more of a range of abilities, so everyone got to play a different part,” Divico said.

For those interested in more of Page to Stage’s work, their production of “Almost, Maine” will take place on April 15 at 7:00 pm and April 16 at 2:30 pm.


Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lauren.brown@uconn.edu.