Mikah Hansen practicing the play, Happy Holidays by Chelsea Mortenson
The upcoming Microburst Theatre Festival features six plays written by BYU students and directed by George Nelson. To bring new plays to the stage takes a lot of editing, revision, and workshopping over months to maybe years. For Microburst, these playwrights get to have life breathed into their plays thanks to the four actors of Microburst; Clara Richardson, Jacob Khalil, Mikah Hansen, and Ren Cottam.
Clara Richardson and Mikah Hansen, both BFA acting majors at BYU, shared their thoughts of being actors in Microburst. “The best part of working with new plays is the freshness of the material! They're not stories I've heard over and over before or performed in multiple times.” Hansen said as she discussed debuting these new plays for audiences. Richardson agreed, “ I have been learning a lot about how to create a character for the first time as an actor. None of the characters in these scripts have ever been portrayed on stage and we only have ten minutes to create a character the audience can relate to”.
Jacob Khali, Clara Richardson, and Ren Cottam practicing the play Untapped by Rylee Witbeck
Besides the fact that these are new plays, the actors also have to perform as multiple characters throughout the show. “ It is a smaller cast which is fun and each of us are playing anywhere from 2-4 characters,” Richardson explained, “…we need to make each of them very different so we aren't just playing the same character every time.” Hansen also added to the difficulty of portraying more than one character, “Microburst is different than other productions I've been in because it involves so many different stories. Normally, you're only performing one show as one character, but Microburst requires actors to play multiple parts in multiple shows--sometimes back to back.”
Performances will be held at the Nelke Experimental Theater at the Harris Fine Arts Center on November 2 through December 2 at 7:30, with a matinee on December 2 at 2:00. Tickets are available at the box office.