Student directed one act plays take stage
Ali Fernand – Features Editor
The theatre department just held their annual one act play shows this past weekend. This was a series of six different one act shows, each directed by a student.
“Most of the stuff that you see was a collaborative conversation between me and the directors and dependent on the director if they wanted to take what the script said versus come up with their own thing,” scenic designer and performer Nicole Thomas said.
Thomas was the designer for all six of the one act shows. She also performed in the show “Who… You… Me… Someone” playing the character Miss Him. The themes of the shows all revolved around death, making a clear theme for the title of the festival.
“We came up with the title based off the themes of the show,” Thomas said.
“Who… You… Me… Someone” was the third play featured in the show. It was an 1800s style murder mystery with comedic elements.
“It was just a really fun, comedic experience and the cast gelled really well together,” actor and theatre major Trevor Burch, a senior said.
This play was directed by Julianne George, a student, who took on a script written by Christopher Conners.
“From our instincts, she will create the blocking based on what we do first, and then we’ll go from there,” Burch said.
Burch plays the character named Mr. You, who is the person who finds the dead body on the floor of his house. He ends up moving it to his closet to stay while he holds a party. After waiting for hours, he calls the police in the morning.
“I worked really hard to get all the lines down, to get the character better understood,” Burch said.
One of the six plays was an original piece written by a student. This was called “The Hard Knock Life of Trevor Hernandez,” which was written and directed by Tay’von Martin. This followed a group of high school students, the main one being new to the school.
“He’s a new kid at school and he’s finding his place through dancing,” actor Anthony Forbes who plays Trevor Hernandez said.
Hernandez faces a bully at the new school from the captain of the football team. He makes friends with a girl who ends up becoming her dance partner. They bond through hip-hop dancing and make a plan to perform at the school’s talent show.
“We were dancing, cracking jokes, it’s all good energy,” Forbes said.
The directors and scenic designers all worked on their roles as a part of a class. The performers had the option to audition for the roles before spring break back in March.
“We’ve been working on this since before spring break, we held auditions the week before spring break and then we started rehearsals the first week back after spring break,” Thomas said.
The Actor’s Nightmare was the last play of the show and it was directed by Cameron Munoz.
“I play the character George, and he basically pops up on stage and is stuck in a dream,” Burch said. “He doesn’t know lines, doesn’t know what’s going on., he just popped into a production.”
Though there was a clear theme, the plays all had a variety of what they offered to the audience. They each had different lengths and different tones they took on.
“They can range from 40 minutes to about 5 minutes,” Thomas said.
In total, the festival was about two and a half hours long, with a brief intermission. The crowd filled the side of the Kendal Drama Lab, which is a black box studio in the Lyman Center.
Shows ran Thursday through Saturday, consistently selling out shows. This is the only show that features student directed plays, but this is an annual event.
“I’m excited for the audience and the energy, because we have a lot of funny, amazing plays,” Forbes said.