Second Act New Works Festival showcases student, community work

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Lucifer told Michael to do God’s work Thursday night in the Black Box Theater in the Eccles Fine Arts building.

That, of course, preceded Lucifer’s banishment from Paradise — chronicled in the Dixie State University student-directed and written play “The Fall of Lucifer.” The Second Act New Works Festival, which ensued Thursday and runs until Saturday, provides theater students a chance to debut their original work to an audience with hopes the experience and feedback might help them take their plays from the Black Box stage to acclaim.

Charles Sean Bronsema, “The Fall of Lucifer” playwright and a junior theater major from Palm Coast, Florida, watched his play unfold then answered questions from and interacted with audience members at the festival. Everything he heard could help him improve his work, he said.

“It’s a mixture between creativity, crafting and inspiration,” Bronsema said. “The audience’s feedback gives me inspiration I wouldn’t have had before; it gives me new ideas.”

And new ideas in the theater department continue as an emphasis thanks to faculty members like associate professor Michael Harding, Bronsema said.

Harding hosts the Second Act New Works Festival and facilitates discussion after the performances. Encouraging students to both build and add to original scripts is DSU theater’s best chance to make a dent on the national stage, and the festival proves just that, he said.

“The future of theater is in the new works,” Harding said. “Now, theater is relying on old works, so it’s important for us to put [original] stuff out there … That might be Dixie theater’s unique identity.”

Harding encouraged DSU faculty, students and St. George residents who seek fresh stories now to attend the festival.

“If you’re tired of seeing the classics and want to see something new, this is your event,” he said.

Search the Second Act New Works Festival on Facebook to see the remaining schedule for this weekend.