Winter one acts festival relocates to auditorium

Caroline Fellows
Online Editor

Juniors Sydney Ciamarolli and Sophie Weik perform in the fall One Act Festival on Sept. 28. Photo by Donald Johnson
Juniors Sydney Ciamarolli and Sophie Weik perform in the fall One-Act Festival on Sept. 28. Photo by Donald Johnson

Winter One Acts is a time for student writers, actors, directors and stage managers to come together to produce one of the drama department’s longest traditions.

“For acting, it is one of our biggest recruiters,” drama teacher Todd Schaefer said. “We’ve added festivals in because it actually grows our number of actors. Even if they are actors that don’t come out for a lot of mainstage stuff, we have plenty of people interested in getting on stage.”

One acts have traditionally taken place in the Little Theater, but they were relocated to the the auditorium last spring due to mold and moisture and a lack of air conditioning or heat in the Little Theater. Because the auditorium is much bigger than the Little Theater, May’s one acts were done in the round, and the first one act festival this year in September was done in the black box. The December festival, however, will be performed like a traditional mainstage production in the auditorium, and seats will be mapped off to keep in the audience in a small, intimate setting.

The relocation, while it does allow for a greater size audience, is only temporary. The drama department hopes to stage its spring one acts this year in its new black box space- the old band room. Air conditioning will be put in the room over winter break.

“So now we’re buying time,” Schaefer said.

When students submit their one acts to Schaefer, he looks for certain criteria.

“The first draft has to have a story- has to have a beginning, middle and end and has to write for few characters, few locations, few props, few specialty costumes, very little lights and sound,” Schaefer said. “Keep it about the actors and the story.”

Junior Suzanna Kessler, writer and co-director of the one act “Bunnylover07,” said she wrote her one act as part of her drama class last year. The one act is based off the song “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” and about it she said, “Really [the idea for my one act] was just something that came up and I was just trying to be funny.”

When Schaefer first started teaching, there was only one one-act festival at the end of the year. Since then two more festivals have been added to provide more opportunities to people who play sports or have other extracurriculars.

“It keeps kids involved at three different parts of the year,” Schaefer said, “There’s something for everyone to be involved in.”
In the history of the festival, Schaefer said he has seen it all.

“We’ve had a little bit of everything and all different styles. Every different style you can imagine. From SNL sketch comedy to very serious witty comedy, to slapstick comedy all the way through,” Schaefer said. “Thrillers, kitchen dramas, family dramas, musicals, history plays [and more].”
According to Schaefer, most one acts this year are comedies whereas in the past dramas have been more prevalent.

This festival will feature nine one acts and one short film, and for most, the writers and directors are the same. This festival’s one acts are “The Interview,” “Bunnylover07,” “A Good Day,” “Three Months,” “T.D.O.T. M.O.T.T.O.E.S.,” “The AA Meeting,” “Maple,” “Somnus,” “Snakes” and “Casual Affair” (film).

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