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MFA One-Act Festival

Wondering what to do on the last few nights before you start cramming for exams? Graduate College student Brad Stoller would tell you to flip a coin.

The MFA One-Act Festival begins tonight in the Helms Theatre featuring two works: "A Tempting Fate" by Stoller and "Saving Jamaica" by Graduate College student Denise Laughlin.

Stoller's "Fate" tells the story of a couple trapped in a static marriage. While cleaning out their basement, they decide to flip a coin to decide what items to keep and what to throw away. The coin flipping snowballs into a way to decide all sorts of aspects of their relationship - from decisions about their children to their sex life. For an added twist, five University students have been cast to play the two characters, and before each scene, they too will flip a coin to decide who plays the scene that night.

"Saving Jamaica," written by Laughlin, tells the story of a young American woman on a religious mission in Jamaica. While repainting the walls of a community center, she is befriended by a young Jamaican girl. Through her conversations with this girl and through her mission work, the woman has a series of flashbacks of when her mother first taught her to paint.

Laughlin got the idea for her play after a mission trip she went on to Kingston, Jamaica.

A live reggae band and a Jamaican chorus will perform the music Laughlin wrote into the script.

"The way the Jamaican chorus works with the reggae band makes the play even more magical than I hoped," Laughlin said. "There's something other-worldly about it. It gives you the feeling that you're really in Jamaica."

Each of the one-acts runs about 45 minutes. The festival opens tonight at 8 p.m. in the Helms Theatre, and continues through the Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 and ART$ Dollars can be used.

Compiled by Josie Roberts

Odds Ideas? Call Ryann at 924-1092