May 15, 2017
On May 1st, the curtains opened to reveal students of the Atholton Drama Department showcasing their writing, directing, and acting skills in four one act plays.
The first one act was an original play entitled “Birds of a Feather” written by junior Chloe Colvin. The plot centers around Cynthia, a girl with anxiety, who befriends Kira, a girl from her English class. Cynthia’s anxieties are personified by members of the ensemble. The show concludes with Kira realizing her friend Cynthia needs help and assuring her she will be there to help Cynthia through it.
Molly Goldstein, a junior, directed this one act. Traditionally only an event for seniors, this was the first year Theater teacher Mr. Rosen allowed a junior to direct a One Act show. Describing the difficulty of directing a large cast for the first time, Goldstein said, “I constantly gave notes and directions about the behavior of each anxiety, and I had the girls playing Kira and Cynthia build a relationship between their characters. Sometimes if we had extra time, we played games to help the ensemble get a better feel for how to express each anxiety’s personality on stage.”
The second one act, called “How Will It End?” was written by sophomore Jack Thaxton and directed by senior Jared Swanson and junior Brandon Gile. Multiple narrators struggle for the spotlight to tell their version of a high school drama-filled story.
A recent addition to one acts is the inclusion of student-written productions. “I thought the one acts were interesting this year because of the addition of student-written plays. I thought that both of these plays were relatable to a teenage audience—more so than a play written by an adult,” said junior Nico Greenawalt, who played Jessica in “How Will It End?”
After intermission, seniors and co-directors Jenny Yoo and Lauren McNamara introduced “10 Ways to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.” In this comedy, the two narrators, one wearing survival gear and the other wearing a red dress, comically foil each other as ten methods of survival (plus bonus methods) are revealed. The comedy follows the trials and tribulations of five zombie apocalypse survivors as they try to run from and possibly destroy a zombie horde.
These zombies didn’t just toss on some rumpled clothes and call it a day; actors Jace Franco, Jacob Welch, and Jessica Langsdale sported realistic zombie makeup. Lauren McNamara, the makeup artist for the one act, said, “We had professional makeup artists teach us how to do the zombie makeup so it was very realistic; if zombies can be realistic.”
The final one act performed was a musical called “High School Sucks” by Rick Hip-Flores. This Cinderella-like story opens with an all-boys school and all-girls school preparing for the co-ed spring formal. Eddy, a songwriting drama geek, wants to go to the dance, but is instead pressured by two boys into writing their lengthly biology report. But, with the help of a fairy godmother-like teacher, Eddy ends up attending the dance. Claire, a student at the all-girls school, is dreading the dance because of a recent breakup, but attends regardless. Eddy writes a song called “High School Sucks” on a slip of paper and drops it while leaving the dance. Claire finds the note and sings his song the next day at school and eventually finds Eddy.
“High School Sucks” was directed by seniors Divya Singh and Abrien Nelson. The musical directors were Isabelle Belleza and Colt Pettit, who worked with the actors and helped bring the music and the show together. Reflecting upon on the performance, Singh said, “I was very impressed with the overall outcome. It was very tough to do this show because there are so many things you have to think about when doing a musical. I even choreographed a song with basketballs, which was quite challenging, but I knew [the cast] could handle it.”
After watching these stellar one-acts, the Atholton community can conclude that high school, in fact, does not suck.