One Acts Festival is one of the longest traditions of the drama department, being around for 50-60 years, according to drama teacher Todd Schaefer.
One Acts shows original short plays written by students.The writers of these works are also in charge of auditions, casting, directing and producing.
Junior Teddy Woldow is participating this year, doing a play based on the book, “Song of Achilles” by Madeleine Miller. He’s adapting a few of the scenes into a dramatic stage play.
The casting process is when directors sit at tables with scripts while actors audition for each table. Once the actors have gone to every table they leave and the directors fight over who they want for their plays.
One Acts is taking place twice this year, one on Sept. 28, and another in May. Each one usually has eight or seven plays. The September One Acts took place at 7 p.m. in the Blackbox Theater. Tickets cost $5.
It’s meant to be very low-stress, for example, Schaefer allows new people to help with the production as an opportunity for them to “get their feet wet.”
Schaefer said, “We’ll have a crew of people moving set pieces that are usually new to the process…I have a new person, who’s usually never done it, running the light board, someone who’s never done it running the sound effects.”
Directors only get two rehearsals with Schaefer, every other rehearsal is on their own time.
Woldow said, “Rehearsals vary in amount, time and place depending on the groups. My rehearsals usually happen in Old Orchard after school. Everyone will walk down, buy a snack or a drink and then sit somewhere quiet to go over lines and blocking.”
Schaefer said, “It’s really student driven, for the most part, artistically. I’m just there to navigate and keep them in check.”
They are only allowed to use black furniture provided by the high school to create their sets, and Schaefer projects a background slide to show where the location of the act is set. He also provides costumes and props, but most of the time, they’re dressing themselves.
Schaefer said, “This is the one way to get in the directors chair especially if you’re wanting to go to the next level.”
About what intrigued him to participate in One Acts, Woldow responded, “I love finding people through common interests, and theater can be a great place to do that.”
This will be Eleanor Kanerva’s first year on ECHO staff. They also made several contributions while taking journalism class their junior year.