‘Shelter-in-Plays’ highlights 5 original student-produced virtual productions

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The Experimental Theatre Company (ETC) is pleased to present “Shelter-in-Plays”, a presentation of five original virtual plays. “Shelter-in-Plays” is written, directed, produced, and performed by Fresno State students and will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, on the official University Theatre YouTube channel and continuing indefinitely.  A special pre-premiere Facebook Live will also be held at 6:30 p.m., on Jan 8 on the University Theatre Facebook page. The Facebook Live will include the writers and directors of the original virtual plays. 

When faced with having to produced theatre virtually this past fall semester, The Experimental Theatre Company board jumped into a brainstorming frenzy. They finally settled on seeking the submission of original works by current or former Fresno State students. The productions were to be developed, rehearsed, and produced entirely over Zoom. No face-to-face meetings were ever held while these productions were in development. 

“This is such a monumental moment for The Experimental Theatre Company,” says ETC Chair Dylan Murphy. “We gave students the opportunity to put something together in a world where the opportunity for creation is limited. The pandemic may have put the world on hold, but we feel that we had the responsibility to keep creating, and to keep students motivated. We are so excited for everyone to see how our students and fellow classmates worked around some very restricting limitations to still create art.”

The original virtual plays include “Hindrance” written by JJ Valentin and directed by Jenna Valencia, “Harold & Genesis” written by Santiago Batista and directed by Alexis Gonzalez, “Z” written and directed by Teya Juarez, “Anyone Else” written and directed by Emily King, and “A Poem Play” written and directed by Temperance Talley. 

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“Hindrance” Written by JJ Valentin | Directed by Jenna Valencia: After returning from a week-long vacation, Mel receives an unanticipated letter from a distant aunt saying that she will be paying Mel a visit soon. Her best friend Taylor is intrigued by the letter, but both soon become petrified when they discover that the true visitor is something far worse. 

“Harold & Genesis” Written by Santiago Batista | Directed by Alexis Gonzalez: MURDER! SUSPENSE! DRAMA! Harold and Genesis are being investigated for a recent murder in the neighborhood. This comedic thriller is sure to delight and entertain. 

“Z” Written and Directed by Teya Juarez: “Z” is a devised-style piece that explores the unique struggles and expectations of Generation Z. It touches on hard topics such as school shootings and sexual assault. 

“Anyone Else” Written and Directed by Emily King: We are taught that vulnerability is a weakness that should be hidden from the world. “Anyone Else” begs the question: what would the world be like if we refused to remain silent? 

“A Poem Play” Written and Directed by Temperance Talley: An elementary school teacher tackles the effects of one of her students using a racial slur during their Zoom class. Through poetry, these young and well-educated students attempt to get to the bottom of the most topical and difficult conversations happening in American society today- race, gun violence, and the role of a paren

For more information, contact the box office at 559.278.7512 or universitytheatre@csufresno.edu

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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