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Bethany Radford as Vinny Van GoghBethany Radford as Vinny Van Gogh in “Find Things Beautiful, As Often As You Can,” part of the University Players’ StartUP Festival.

Drama students take to virtual stage

Audiences looking for some out-of-the-box virtual entertainment can find it in the inaugural StartUP Festival, a celebration of student work supported by the staff and faculty of University Players.

The festival is based on the BFA in Acting Character Study projects, normally produced in the live studio spaces of the School of Dramatic Art, but pivoted this year to online performance.

Each student in the graduating class has written a one-act play no more than 25 minutes long, covering a wide range of genres: imaginative period pieces, stories that touch on the actors’ own histories, characters battling their way through a post-apocalyptic future, and fantastical settings that explore the origin of life itself.

A brief description of each show is available on the UP website, and trailers are released daily for each piece on the UP Instagram and Facebook pages.

The University Players’ StartUP Festival opened this week and continues to run until May 31 on the company’s YouTube channel. New shows are released six days a week through May 22. Tickets are available at the University Players Box Office.

Watch a pre-show panel discussion with student creators Elena Reyes, Alison Adams, and Jonnie Lombard, along with directing consultants Marc Bondy and Lee Wilson: