Fresh Act Wows McKenna

 Students put together a two-hour play showcase, consisting of eight different 10-minute plays in the bi-annual production known as “Fresh Act.” 

“I liked that it was student run, with shows written by students and performed by students,” said fourth-year digital media major Sabrina Petroski. “I got to meet new people and work with incredible actors and actresses.”

The production starred a plethora of student actors, directors and producers both in and outside of the theatre program at SUNY New Paltz.  

“I like performing in ‘Fresh Act’ because I had the opportunity to perform in a new play under the direction of a fellow student,” said second-year theatre major Matthew Moment. “The process is very collaborative and working in this manner is very enjoyable as a theatre artist.”

The pieces varied from wacky comedy, to serious dramas to feel-good stories. Every piece had unique elements such as stage combat, historical references or hilarious characters that made the showcase interesting and entertaining.

All the pieces were easy to keep up with, as they were short and sweet. Since each play is around 10 minutes long, no one story loses audience attention or participation.

“For me, it was a way to get back into the theater community,” Petroski said. “I hadn’t done any sort of acting since High School and really missed it, so my friend told me to audition.”

The shows covered various themes in one-of-a-kind ways. Sexuality was explored through ghosts, racism was explored through WWII pilots and love was explored through concupiscent dogs.

What makes “Fresh Act” so inspiring and important is how it opens theatre up to more people. The production team and actors come from all different majors, and the themes shine a special light on topics not always explored by the mainstage productions. It brings people and groups from all different walks of life onto the stage.

“I love ‘Fresh Act’  because it’s amazing seeing my actor friends come together and work really hard at performing in different skits that are also written by students,” said third-year Spanish major Elizabeth Fernandez. “Everyone’s talents were showcased at Fresh Act and I really enjoyed watching each piece.”

The value of “Fresh Act” can not be overlooked. As a platform for student storytellers, performers and producers use their creativity in a new way, it adds a dimension of theatre to New Paltz that can not be found elsewhere.

“[Fresh Act] made coming back to the theatre a great experience,” Petroski said. “The plays were hilarious and the actors were really fun to work with.” 

“Fresh Act” went off splendidly and as the show closed, producers Kayla Jones, Dakota Rose and Jillian Feuerstein encouraged audience members who enjoyed the show to come out and audition next semester. A producer position will be opening up as well, being that Jillian Feuerstein graduates next semester.

Fresh Act will return to the stage in the Spring 2019 semester.