CORVALLIS, Ore. - The 2011 Spring One-Act Festival, featuring plays written, directed and designed by Oregon State University students, is hitting the Withycombe Main Stage this week.

The festival, which runs May 25-28 beginning at 7:30 p.m. and May 29 at 2 p.m., features four original one-act plays including an eclectic mix of comedy and drama from playwriting students. Withycombe Hall is located at 30th and Campus Way on the OSU campus.

The material for the 2011 One-Act Festival has been developed over the year in the OSU theater program's playwriting sequence. Through a series of classes, students develop and original works to be produced at OSU. This year's festival features two comedies and two dramas touching on themes of friendship, racism, and survival.

"Maverick," by Sarah McKenney and directed by Andrew Atkinson, is a dark comic tale of a young man placed in a medium-term psychiatric ward trying to cope with the ever-present hallucination of an imaginary friend.

"Southern Firelight" by Aaron Kopperman and directed by Rowan Russell is a racially charged drama placed in post-Civil War Mississippi.

"Behind Bars" by Jordyn Patton and directed by Alex Johnston tells the story of Jay, a young man serving time in a state prison.

"Hint" by Colin Fant and directed by Addie McDermond is a clever comic murder mystery where a group of eccentrics is brought to a creepy mansion to solve the crime and survive the night.

"I was really pleased with the work that has come out of the classes," said instructor Elizabeth Helman, who teaches playwrighting at OSU. "The students have been fearless about exploring difficult subject matter in their work."

The Spring One-Act Festival features adult themes, language, and violence and may not be appropriate for all viewers.

Tickets are $8 general, $6 seniors, $5 for student/youth and $4 for OSU students. Information: 541-737-2784 or

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