School of Music wrapping up semester

December 7, 2013

PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University theatre department will hit the stage in the Black Box Nov. 14-16 for its annual Shorts presentation. Shorts XVII offers five short plays that range from comedy to drama.

The brain child of Dr. Marti Runnels, Director of Theatre at Wayland, shorts is an annual event that features student directors and numerous actors filling roles in the productions. The first Shorts was staged 17 years ago, a run that has Runnels a little surprised.
“I never thought, when I started numbering these things, that I would be looking at number 17,” Runnels said. “But low-and-behold, here we are.”

Shorts XVII will feature a first for Runnels as one of the featured plays was written during the 24-hour theatre festival that Wayland hosts for high school students each September.  High school and college students interested in theatre spend 24 hours coming up with an idea, writing and then performing a play. Runnels said “The Lantern,” written by WBU theatre minor Haley Bonner, was so well done that he wanted to use it again.

“I told her I wanted to work with her and tighten the writing a little bit and use it for Shorts,” Runnels said.

The play centers on a baseball player who is spending so much time playing baseball in order to raise money for his family that he doesn’t get to spend much time with them. Runnels said he couldn’t say much more about the play without giving it away.

In another first for the Shorts production, one of the plays is being divided and will take place between the other plays. Entitled “Check Please,” runnels said the audience will see it in bits and pieces.

“It’s about people meeting at a restaurant,” Runnels explained. “Various people come in and out and try to set up a dating event. It’s kind of like speed dating with people moving in and out of there.”

In its 17th season, Shorts is sure to be a hit with pieces that will appeal to all audiences. The play runs each night at 7:30 in the Wayland studio theatre. Admission is $8. For more information, call 806-291-1060.

PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University School of Music is hosting its final concerts of the semester this weekend. The American Family Christmas Concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday night, with the Children’s Chorus of Plainview taking the stage at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

The Wayland Singers Chorus, Wayland International Choir and the Wayland Symphonic Wind Ensemble present the annual Christmas classics concert. Masters of ceremonies, Dr. Scott Strovas, assistant professor of music history, and Dr. Anthony King, associate professor of bands, will be assisted by Dr. Gary Belshaw, professor of music composition, on the Harral organ. Following sets of seasonal favorites by each group, the concert will conclude with a combined performance of Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival.”

On Sunday, the Children’s Chorus of Plainview, under the direction of Dr. Debra Flournoy-Buford, will present their annual fall concert. Student musicians from all across the city of Plainview will join together performing classics and holiday favorites.

Both concerts will be held in Harral Memorial Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.