State of Troy Theatre — Supernatural Selection and Tales from Tent City

This weekend is all about original productions—and it’s also definitely a weekend to support your creative peers. The most wonderful part of student-produced work is that even if a scene doesn’t work, you are able to appreciate the immense amount of hard work that went into putting up the show in the first place. It is an opportunity to really see how students grow and learn, while hopefully being entertained in the process.

First up is a show by a brand new student group, INTERP: A Night Of Theater Abridged. The show consists of actors performing scenes from different movies and books as one or two men shows. The concept is derived from high school speech and debate programs, in an event coined “interpretation of literature.”

The directors of the show, Ben Greene and David Mandell, both participated in the event in high school, and each actor chose his own material and rehearsed individually. I’m particularly interested in the one-man show of Downton Abbey, a performance that is sure to be a riot. The show runs Thursday at 8pm, Friday at 6 pm in the VKC arches (another fun element to experience) and it is free!

The other two shows for the weekend are written by students. This weekend premieres the bi-annual Brand New Theatre (BNT) One Acts, this time titled Supernatural Selection. The show features four student-written, acted, directed, designed one-acts. This show is always a fantastic display of the talent at USC, and I’m sure this year will be no different. One play is written by senior Jordan Merimee, whose most recent show, the thought-provoking Blind Me Tender, premiered at USC in February. Jordan is a veteran to BNT, and this will likely be his last new work to premiere at USC. (But I’m sure we’ll hear his name out in the “real world” in the near future!).

Two of the shows are also written by members of USC’ famed improv group, Commedus Interuptus. If their ability to make us laugh on the fly is any indication, I’m sure giving them some time to write their material will make it even better. Check out the BNT One Acts Supernatural Selection, this Thursday-Saturday at the Village Gate Theater in University Village. Visit for tickets.

This week also marks the second week of the School of Dramatic Arts (SDA) New Works festival, involving full-length plays written by second-year MFA dramatic writing students. The production this week is called Tales from Tent City and weaves words and song to tell the stories of homeless youth living on the streets of America. They must learn to create and dissolve bonds, and learn the best plan of action to survive and thrive in their situation. This production has gotten particular buzz for its original music, scored by an undergraduate cast member. The show runs April 19-21 at the Massman theater, tickets are available online or at the door.