What are your plans after graduation? Get a job, go to grad school, pay some bills? Senior theater majors Matt Cary and Matt Curtis probably have a better answer than most grads. The two plan to drive cross-country to Los Angeles to start their careers in the film industry. But please, no Ben and Matt comparisons.
“We’re going to try to make it. We both have a lot of experience acting, writing and directing,” said Cary.
The two already have head starts on their r?sum?s. Curtis spent the summer on the set of “In The Bedroom” as production assistant, setting up cameras for each scene. Cary is writing a screenplay based on a comic strip, for a production company ready to make it into a feature film.
“That would be a huge step in the door,” said Cary.
That’s not all. Cary recently directed Curtis in an independent film. Both were involved in a public service announcement for PBS geared towards families of new college students. And Cary recently placed in the top five in the Ninth Annual Portland’s Funniest Professional contest at the Comedy Connection.
“It was right there. I could smell it and taste it,” said Cary. “It was a great way to break into comedy.”
The duo’s latest production is an entry in the Ten-Minute Play Festival on April 29. This year’s festival is the largest yet, boasting 10 ten-minute plays.
Cary helped bring about the festival four years ago with Student Performing Artists (SPA). All plays are acted, written and directed by students and are picked from a playwriting class. This year, auditions were held to cast parts.
Writers have the option of directing their own plays or choosing a student director.
“It’s a chance for those who haven’t been on the main stage, a chance to act,” said Cary. “Those who want to direct can direct to see if it’s something they want to do.”
Theater major Tara Smith, who recently directed the SPA show “True West,” got her start directing a 10-minute play last year and was hooked.
“It’s a great way to work your way up,” said Cary.
Along with Cary and Curtis, this year’s festival boasts 35 cast and crew members.
Freshman theater major Sean Demers wrote three of the plays, among them the musical “Neil James the Musical” which he calls “a light comedy” based on the life of a fellow theater major. Demers will direct and play the lead.
Cary and Curtis said the festival is their “one last hurrah” at USM. They plan to close out the show with co-writers and directors Sam Kinne and Liz Chambers, also senior theater majors, with one last secret scene.
“(The festival) reminds us of why we’re in this major-to perform,” said Curtis.
Staff Writer Nicolette Harding can be reached at: [email protected]