Written by Autumn Hartshorn

The theater is a wonderful place that helps tie SCAD students together in different ways. It holds potential for various kinds of creativity and mediums to contribute to one large piece of artwork. The student-run organization 3rd Act Productions is a creative outlet dedicated to just that.

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The board of 3rd Act Productions listens to a director’s pitch given by performing arts M.F.A. student John Posner. Photo credit: Emilie Kefalas

Burke Swanson, a third year performing arts student from Tampa, Florida, is the president of 3rd Act Productions. Swanson said the club was created and formed due to the work of Vivian Majkowski, 3rd Act’s faculty adviser.

According to Swanson, when Majkowski first began working with SCAD, she decided to recreate a group that she had already started at her previous college, the University of Colorado Boulder.

“She wanted to create an entity that was student-run and a chance for students to get an understanding of what life was like behind the scenes,” Swanson said.

Swanson said he got involved with 3rd Act as a sophomore. He said he watched their shows as a freshman and thought that the group’s t-shirts were hilarious.

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Swanson addressing the board of 3rd Act during their last meeting of fall quarter. Photo credit: Emilie Kefalas

“I understood there was a distinguishing factor between a mainstage show and 3rd Act, but 3rd Act was always putting on shows,” Swanson said. “It was always an opportunity. Even though I had never done shows with them, I was always seeing shows.”

Swanson had friends on the board of 3rd Act Productions around the time he started getting more involved with the club. They asked him to come in to interview to be a sophomore representative.

As the club’s president, Swanson said he hopes new students understand that 3rd Act is a place where SCAD students can break down the door of trying different things within the theatre. Students also get the chance to collaborate in a smaller playing field compared to the mainstage shows, according to Swanson. No matter how someone wants to help out, Swanson emphasized that 3rd Act is a theater community where artists can go to do their art.

3rd Act Production’s main show, “Fantasy Improv,” will open early next quarter. Offstage, the club has been involved with different animal charities throughout the quarter and will have donation boxes during the run of “Fantasy Improv” to help raise money for the chosen cause that night.

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3rd Act board members discuss their production plans for winter quarter. Photo credit: Emilie Kefalas

During the second weekend of winter quarter, 3rd Act will also host the 48-hour play festival, a great opportunity for dramatic writers, actors and directors to get involved and create new work, according to Swanson.

Swanson said students interested in getting involved with 3rd Act Productions are encouraged to attend the club’s monthly meetings starting in the winter quarter. The club also has a mailing list (thirdactproductions@gmail.com) for students who want to receive production updates. Swanson said the best way to stay informed on all things 3rd Act is to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.