Student experimentation

“Experiments in Ink” is all about the playwrights, said Marianna Wood, producer of the eighth annual showcase of U theater students’ work.

“It’s about developing new plays and developing their skills as writers,” she said.

This year’s show, running now through Sunday, will feature 11 premieres of student-written and student-directed one-act plays, selected from more than 500 pages of submitted scripts.

Co-directors Wood and fellow theater student Lindsay Thompson first put the selected plays through an intensive workshopping process before casting the show and eventually beginning rehearsals, which each of the student playwrights were invited to attend.

“For the actors, it’s a unique opportunity to work with new material and to be able to talk with the playwrights about their characters,” Wood said. “You can’t exactly call Shakespeare up on the phone to clarify Hamlet’s relationship with his mother.”

From the time of selection to the time of performance, Wood says scripts change “drastically and repeatedly,” often with the addition and removal of characters.

Many of the student actors are cast in more than one play throughout the show, giving them an opportunity to portray multiple characters on the same night, Wood said.

The repertoire for “Experiments in Ink VIII” offers both actors and audiences a variety of subject matter and emotional tones.

“We have feel-good pieces, dark pieces, satires, unexpected twists and more,” Wood said. “There’s something for everyone.”