UCF’s Project Spotlight will showcase five one-act plays April 12-15 in the University of Central Florida’s Black Box Theatre. This semi-annual event gives students the opportunity to produce, act and direct plays.

The One Act Festival, nicknamed OAF, addresses an educational need for students to take larger roles in the production process, in addition to the work they do with the theatre department.

The short plays and directors are selected by the officers of Project Spotlight. This spring the plays are The Unwanted by Walter Wykes, Road Trip by Melissa Landy, House of the Holy Moment by Cary Pepper, Brutal Imagination by Cornelius Eady, and Stingray by Sam Liguori.

“I have spent about three years now, on stage and off, and the experience is different every time,” said Roger Thatcher, president of Project Spotlight, who has helped choose many of the shows produced by OAF.  “We’re really excited about having original pieces by students this semester. That captures the spirit of what OAF is all about.”

Two of the plays, Road Trip and Stingray were written by students in the UCF theatre department. Melissa Landy, who wrote Road Trip, also had an original piece in the fall semester One Act Festival.

 “Stingray can be considered a Theatre for Social Change piece in its elements of dealing with the mentally unstable,” writer Sam Liquori said. “I ask the question to the audience ‘Does a diagnosis actually make a difference?’”

Musical Theatre senior Angela Damato, who is directing Stingray, said it has been an intimidating experience.

“I want to be true to the playwright, but she has allowed me freedom to guide the process and room to grow and make mistakes,” Damato said. “It’s also a blessing to have her with us, so we can directly ask her questions as opposed to leaving everything up to interpretation.”

Project Spotlight’s One Act Festival will be held in the Black Box at the University of Central Florida at 7 p.m. April 12, 13 and 15.  There will also be a matinee on Sunday, April 15, at 2 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.