One Acts Review

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One Acts Review

Mia Gallegos, Staff Writer

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We all get the opportunity to see the beautifully directed plays done by Ms. Bryner and carried out by the theatre department. However, at this time of year, the actors get to switch the roles and direct plays themselves. These are called the One Acts, and I got the chance to go and watch these impressive performances that were directed by certain members of the theatre troop themselves. Here are my reviews on each of the seven  plays in this exciting event.

Sure Thing – Directed by Landon Lee, Written by David Ives

Sure thing was a unique take on character roles. The story started with a girl sitting in a cafe at a table alone. The male role entered the stage and asked if the seat was taken. She said that it was because she happened to be waiting for someone who was meeting her there. The man peacefully left after being declined. At that point, I noticed that there was a girl sitting in the corner who would ding a bell every time the male actor began to exit the stage. Initially I believed that she was ringing the bell any time a character would say the words “sure thing”. However, as the play continued, I realized that the bell wasn’t being rung on just the mention of those words. I was slightly confused by the fact that the male character seemed to keep coming back and asking the same questions to the same girl. However, I realized that the ringing of the bell signified a character or situation change. The male role continued to walk back and ask the same questions because he was playing a new role each time the girl in the corner of the stage would ring the bell. I thought that this was a very great idea made by the director to have the same actor play many different characters within the play. The memorization of the male’s line seems unimaginably difficult to me. I applaud all of the actors who were in this play but kudos to the male role for memorizing the order of the repetitive lines he had to learn.

Flaky Lips – Directed by Mia Correa, Written by Lindsey Price

This play really forced me to think. It started with two girls running onto the stage terrified. They began by saying the exact same words at the same time, however they were on opposite sides of a wall that divides them. They talked about how both of them are outcasts of their own side. They explained how a terrible disease has infected everyone on their own sides. They tell of dead people in the streets and how that seems normal to the two of them after years of seeing it. Neither of them realized that the other one is on the other side of the wall due to their speech synchronicity. However, when the two realize that there is someone talking on the other side, they both become terrified. They both had been brainwashed to think that the other side is filled with terrible monsters. They don’t realize how similar they are until they both get the confidence to show their hands to one another over the wall, and eventually touch. When the two touch hands over the wall, they both gain total insight to what the other had lived through on their side. They realize that they have both lived practically the same lives on opposite sides of the wall. This play was one that showed great character development and I enjoyed seeing that and how well the actors portrayed it.

Flannel – Directed by Isa Lovato, Written by Erin Fuller

The play started off with two girls on a date sitting on top of a car and discussing the future. It was dark out so one of the girls asked if her girlfriend needed to get home. The girlfriend explained how her father wouldn’t care if she was home late. She begins to elaborate , but then backs out of it.

The girl headed home. Before the daughter entered the room, the mother expressed how she was concerned about her daughter and husband’s relationship. When the daughter entered the scene, I immediately could sense tension between her and her dad. As the daughter and father were awkwardly talking, the mother was standing in the room as well. However, the daughter didn’t seem to acknowledge her. This was very confusing to me at first, but as the play continued on, I understood why. It turned out that the mother was actually only a hallucination that the father continued to have. The mother had died a few years prior and the father just continued to see this apparition of her. After finding this out, I realized that part of the daughter and father’s disconnect is because he can see this image of their lost loved one and she can’t.

In attempts to help out her dad and after consulting her girlfriend, the girl goes to her father to ask for more details about how her mother actually died. She only had small details about it and it turned out that she actually didn’t have the story right at all. At this point in the play, there was a cool flashback moment goingback to the day that the mother had committed suicide. I thought that this was a great choice made by both the writer and the director of this play. It made the scene more interesting and much more entertaining than just the father sitting there and telling the daughter what had happened. This play was very moving and real. It was important for the audience members to see the reality of some situations that people live through and I loved how well this was portrayed through the actors with the help with the director.

Field View Inn – Directed and Written by Adam Fazio & Dylan Scott

This was a great murder mystery that reminded me much of the game Clue. The play started with a woman walking into a bar in the Field View Inn. She began socializing with the bartender and he comes to realize that she is a famous performer in New York. Two cowboys entered the scene a little later to see the drunken bartender lying at the counter. They began discussing their lives and how they got to the Field View Inn. The two men went over to try to wake up the sleeping bartender, only to find that he is dead. Not only do they discover that he is dead, but they find out that it wasn’t an accident. The bartender was poisoned, and now the task was to find out who did it. There was a lot of drama throughout this play. It ended up to where almost everyone was shot dead by one of the other suspects for the reasons of pointless squabbling, trying to save a loved one from harm, or suspicion of a possible threat to the others. In the end, only the performer from New York and one of the cowboys remained. The cowboy had figured out that it had been the performer who had killed the bartender. All in all, this was an action packed mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Abra Cadaver – Directed by Grace Marcontell, Written by John Mattera

This was a very mysterious play that kept me at the edge of my seat. Though I was slightly confused at the beginning of the play, toward the middle I began to understand what was going on. A woman and a man were planning on killing someone to get their money. The woman who they were planning on killing happened to be the sister of the woman who was planning on killing her, along with the wife of the man who was conspiring with her. Their plan was to kill the sister by throwing a party and getting everyone drunk. They would then do a magic act in which they would put identical masks on so that no one could accuse one of them since they wouldn’t know who had actually killed her. When the time for the party came, the plan was completely thought through and ready to be played out. The two murderers had put on their masks and were ready to commit the crime. They invited the sister to stand in the magic box in which they would continue to stab swords into. Since the sister had caught onto the two of them, she decided to ask her husband, one of the murderers, to step in the box first. He was hesitant, but agreed after the sister said that she would make sure not to stab him. She completed the act without injuring him. After the sister had seen this she stepped into the box as the sister and husband proceeded to their deathly magic act. They stuck in every sword except the last one without any damage done. When the final sword was inserted into the box, the sister screeched in pain and fell to the ground.. Although I thought that the crime had been committed and the play was over, it wasn’t. A later scene showed both women, the sisters, killed onstage. The lawyer of the man came out and gave the man what I was assuming was the money that he had been trying to get all along. I believed that the man and the lawyer had been working together undercover throughout the entire scam that he had been forming the murder with his wifes sister. However, after I thought this was the final curtain call, the wife of the man rose from her death and pulled a gun on her husband. It turned out that she had been the one working with the lawyer. She had known about her husband and sister’s plan to kill her and had been working with the lawyer ever since. She shot her husband and exit the stage. I thought that this was a very perplexing ending to a play. However, immediately after the death of the husband, the mailman, a character whom we had seen appear multiple other times throughout the play, appeared onstage to find the man dead. He added a hilarious ending to a previously dark play. This play really required me to think with all of the twists and turns that came with the mystery.

Final Dress Rehearsal – Directed by Evette Srouji & Emma Kegerreis, Written by Jack Frakes

The Final Dress rehearsal was a hilarious representation of what a terrible last dress rehearsal would look like. The play started with a optimistic and old school director of a play on the stage. She called on all of her actors, only to realize that many of the main roles happened to be missing. This was not the only thing to go wrong however. The costumes were not fitting right, the makeup was a mess, and the set of the play that was being put on wasn’t finished yet. To make matters worse, the playwright showed up to view how her ideas were being portrayed by these uncultured actors and actresses. The director sent them off and gave the playwright the opportunity to explore the set of the play. She walked around and was very disappointed by the appearance of the set having not been finished yet. The director suggested that the playwright sit in for the final dress rehearsal to make up for the dismay that had come with the set. The playwright agreed and at that point came into the audience and sat in a seat to view the play. I really enjoyed this somewhat interactive aspect of this play. As the actors went about the play, their lack of knowledge about theatre terminology showed, along with their unpreparedness within their final dress rehearsal. Everything within that dress rehearsal that could have gone wrong did. This was a very comical and fun play to watch. The interactive aspect with the playwright coming into the audience and saying some of her lines from her seat in the auditorium was a very bold yet effective move made by the director of this one act.

The Audience – Directed by Drake Susuras, Written by Spencer Robinson

This play was one that was slightly hard for me to formulate a review on. It started with a single man on the stage. He began to recite some information on the time, place and situation that he was in. He discussed the crimes of a criminal that was then pulled out onto the stage by a police officer. The initial man who was on the stage I believed was the prosecutor of the criminal on the stage with him. There was much squabbling between the two of them. There were many metaphors that worked and helped me to understand the play a little more. For example, the persecutor used the analogy that the criminal had just auditioned for a play that he happened to be directing. I didn’t know that these were metaphors at first, however later within the play, that is was I gleaned. The arguing among the prisoner and the persecutor continued and got to a place where the criminal flipped the  persecutors argument on himself. At this point, the persecutor pulled a gun on the criminal. He didn’t shoot, rather he asked the police officer to take him back to his cell. This was the dramatic conclusion to this one act. The reason why I say that this play was harder for me to write a review on was for the reason being that I didn’t fully grasp the plot of the play. I feel like there was a bit of a historical aspect to the play that I didn’t quite comprehend, therefore making it hard for me to understand the play. Nevertheless, the actors within this play portrayed the dramatic and intense vibe of this play and it was quite intriguing to see each of their characters develop throughout the play.

After the show I got the chance to speak with Emma Kegerreis, one of the directors of the play “The Final Dress Rehearsal”. I asked about her creative process and how she felt about how her visions were portrayed in the performance that ended up on stage. “It was fun being able to be in charge of the show and kind of create our visions,” said Kegerreis. She also explained how she has a newfound respect for her theatre teacher, Ms. Briner, after having experienced what she has to go through on an almost daily basis. “Briner always talks about how she gets visions. She has these great ideas and I feel like I never really understood what that meant,” Kegerreis recalled, “then seeing it and doing it myself I was like, oh! This is what she means.”

If you didn’t get the opportunity to go to the One Acts this year, make sure to attend them next year. They are definitely worth watching.