From this upcoming Friday, the 15th to next Saturday, the 23rd, a new exciting event is occurring at UC Davis! Anyone that enjoys something cutting edge in the drama department should look no further than the first ever UC Davis Edge Performance Festival. Now what is this festival you may ask me? It is a collection of productions done by graduate and undergraduate students. The festival includes five different choreographies as well as three different plays written by UC Davis students. It’ll also include four different solo performances and on the last day a Rocky Horror Picture Show Sing-Along!
For information on any of the plays, check out the following link: http://theatredance.ucdavis.edu/season/pressroom_detail.aspx?p=118
I learned about this event through a friend of mine, who also introduced me to Ashley Chandler. Ashley Chandler is the writer for one of the plays that will be showcased as part of the “Undergraduate One Act Plays”, titled “How to Grieve”. I was able to sit down with her and ask her a few questions about her story.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m a fifth year here at UC davis. I play water polo and I swim and that’s dominated my time here for the most part. I’m an English major and Drama minor. That’s where the whole playwriting thing comes in.
How long have you been doing water polo?
Oh geez, since like 6th grade? And I’ve been swimming since I’ve been young enough to float around (laughs).
How’s your water polo season going?
Pretty well, I think. We’ll all at the point of the season where we know each other and are really cohesive as a team. We have a couple conference games coming up and we’re really excited. We’ve been doing some game specific drills against UCI and Long Beach*. We hope that they won’t have anything that’d surprise us too much and we’ll be prepared for it.
Okay, so lets get into the play now. What’s the title of the play?
It’s “How to Greave”.
And you wrote it, right? Was it for a class, or did you just decide to do it for yourself?
My mom passed away in in Spring of last year on March 27th, and I decided to come back to school as a way for me to keep busy and to be around my friends and stuff, so I took Drama 160B, which is a playwriting class. We had to write a 10 minute play as one of our assignments and there was nothing else on my mind that I wanted to write about. It was a timing sort of thing. And I turned it in. I had a really good relationship with the professor, so he told me about this play contest and I just had to lengthen it a little bit to make it 20 minutes.
So you submitted it and they just took it?
And it’s going to be played at the…?
It’s going to be played in Lab A in Wright Hall. It’s a fairly small venue. Kinda by the Art Builiding. It’s going to be during April 16th, 17th, 22nd, and 23rd. And they’re all varying times. Opening night is 9:30.
I’m assuming from the title that the message is going to be dealing with how to greave?
It’s supposed to be somewhat ironic. A lot of what I focus on in the play is that grieving is different for everyone. Just because someone’s relatives died of cancer doesn’t mean that I’m going to assume that my experience with grief is anything similar to what they’re going through. It’s playing around with the idea that grief is very specific. The person that you lost in your life is very personal. Nobody can know what that person meant to you, all the things in your relationship, your life with them, so there’s no right or wrong way to greave. And it’s meant to be just a little bit ironic in that way.
How many people are going to be in the performance?
There are going o be 3 greavers and 1 girl. Essentially it’s going to be me as a character.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I just hope that my writing can help people, or touch people in a way. And I know that cancer seems to be this epidemic now a days. From my experience so many people have come out of nowhere saying “my cousin/mother/brother had cancer” and so I just hope that my writing can help people or just affect people in any way.
The Undergraduate One Act Plays will be during the following days:
16th @ 9:30PM
17th @ 7PM
22nd @ 8PM
23rd @ 8PM
For a complete list of the Edge Festival Schedule as well as venues, please go to: http://theatredance.ucdavis.edu/season/prod_details.aspx?p=33
Tickets are $10 for each event in advance or at the door, but a pass that allows you entry into every event is $30 in advance or at the door and they can be purchased by calling (530)754-ARTS(2787) or at: http://theatredance.ucdavis.edu/season/tickets.aspx
*The games have passed as of the time of this article. Davis lost against UC Irvine 7-9, but were able to win the match against Long Beach State in overtime 9-7