The University of St. Thomas will host performances by two community theater companies as they make their way to the Minnesota Association of Community Theaters (MACT) Fest, a biennial one-act play festival and competition held later this month in Fergus Falls, Minn.
The Dakota Fine Arts Consortium will perform David Hare’s “The Bay at Nice,” and the Applause Community Theater will present Tennessee William’s “This Property Is Condemned.”Performances will be staged at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 19, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.
Purchase tickets at the door:
- UST students with ID – $2
- UST faculty and staff, other students and seniors – $5
- Adult general public – $10
“The Bay at Nice”
The Dakota Fine Arts Consortium’s one-act play “The Bay at Nice” is set in a room at the Hermitage Museum in 1956 Leningrad, Russia. An aging Valentina, once a young student of Henri Matisse (and possible lover), has been asked to help authenticate a painting for the museum staff. She is accompanied by her daughter Sophia, a teacher but also an artist, who is unhappily married to a party bureaucrat. Sophia needs her mother’s approval and financial assistance to be free of her marriage and start a new life. The result is a battle of wills between the two women, one an ex-Bohemian who left the freedom of Paris to raise her fatherless child in a repressive Russia, and the daughter now grown into a stifled woman in her 30s and eager to taste the freedom her mother once enjoyed.
“This Property Is Condemned”
Applause Community Theater’s performance of “This Property Is Condemned” has a cast of two people. It portrays a chance encounter between a boy named Tom and a girl named Willie, an orphaned school dropout. They meet by the railroad tracks outside a near-abandoned, post-depression-era southern town. During their conversation, Willie tells Tom about her sister Alva, who was once the town’s “main attraction” with suitors galore, fancy clothes and always out to parties, but who died young when her lungs “got affected.” Yet, everything about Willie already spells “doom” as well: her dreaminess and lack of realism, her raggedy old-fashioned party dress (once her sister’s) and the fact that she still lives in her family’s old railroad-side boarding house that’s shut down and bears the sign “This Property Is Condemned.”
Minnesota Association of Community Theaters
MACT is a statewide volunteer organization that supports local theater efforts. It holds meetings, workshops, festivals and other events throughout Minnesota. The festival is held under the auspice of the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT). Its mission is: to promote standards of excellence in theatrical endeavors in Minnesota communities, to facilitate the exchange of ideas among theaters to better foster their growth and improvement, and to encourage the theater arts through workshops, festivals, contests, conferences and other means.
The MACT biennial play festivals began in 1973 in St Louis Park. The first winner, Theatre in the Round, also won the regional and national festivals and performed at the World Festival of Amateur Theatre in Monaco. A rule change in 1993 allows state festivals with 10 or more theater participants to send two theaters to the regional festival. Five Minnesota productions have advanced to the national festival and two to international festivals.