Artistic vision -- not acting skills -- takes center stage in the latest production by the Olentangy Liberty High School theater department.

Artistic vision -- not acting skills -- takes center stage in the latest production by the Olentangy Liberty High School theater department.

The troupe's most-experienced members will stay behind the scenes to direct short, single-act plays this weekend.

Three performances of Humor Us are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15-17, at Olentangy Liberty High School, 3584 Home Road in Powell.

Cast members said the three plays that make up Humor Us are funny and thought-provoking.

Seniors Alyssa Lindsay and Katie Waters are directing Five Pound Sack, a comedy about high school students who must pretend a sack of flour is their baby as part of a lesson on good parenting.

When an absent-minded boy and a high-strung girl are matched up as co-parents, it's a recipe for disaster.

The boy is a neglectful father, while the girl transforms into an obsessive and overprotective mother.

"They don't like each other at all, so it kicks off a whole series of unfortunate events," Waters said.

The mismatched pair's clashes will draw big laughs, Lindsay said.

Murder at the Grey's Hound Mansion, directed by seniors Spencer Lackey and Nick van Atta, is a short, comedic murder mystery.

After the rich, eccentric owner of Grey's Hound Mansion is murdered, the townsfolk gather to hear the reading of his will.

But when a police officer studying the case steps in, the mansion becomes the site of an investigation. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone suspects one another.

The short play is filled with wacky, unusual characters, including a socially inept dog trainer, an interior designer who wants to redecorate the mansion, and the late mansion owner's scheming secretary.

Nighthawks, directed by Eric King and Lauren Wolf, is the production's only original play. King and van Atta wrote the script.

The play tells the story of a group of strangers who converge in a diner and spark a conversation about love and relationships.

A divorced man, a quarreling couple and a grieving widower talk out their problems late into the night.

"At the end, they have all come to a new realization, some sort of epiphany, about their lives," van Atta said.

Choreographed song-and-dance numbers will be performed between acts, with a mixture of pop songs and Broadway tunes.

The Liberty theater group performs student-directed plays each winter.

"It allows them to create something rather than just perform," said director Dan Skrovan. "They get to take what they've learned on stage and in the classroom and apply it."

Everyone is invited to join the cast for dinner Saturday, Feb. 16, before the show. Tickets for dinner and the show that night are $10 for children 10 and younger, $20 for everyone else.

Tickets for the show alone are $5 all three nights.