One Act Festival Hits the Stage

Abial Gebremedhin, Reporter

Bishop Blanchet High School’s acting classes have been gearing up for the One Act plays since the beginning of November. The rehearsal process started with a flurry of back and forth monologues that helped the actors retain and get comfortable with memorizing lines.

The One Act plays have been narrowed down to two separate plays, Twitch and Swagger. The decision to have these specific plays fell to the student directors, Cate Brewer and Julia Brajcich, and acting teacher Mr. Bergin.

Though the play directors have an entirely new cast for their One Acts, composed of mostly underclassmen and only one senior, they seem to feel as though the plays will be better than last year. They think this because of the atmosphere and how the actors are learning so quickly.

“We have been very impressed with how hard the actors have been working,” said Brewer. “They have been so comfortable with the scripts and have very natural in acting roles.”

Due to the nature of the student-led One Acts this year many student actors have expressed gratitude at the proposition of having fellow peers as their leader. Describing how having peers leading it has led to more open discussion on how the play should be interpreted and performed.

“The new directors we have in Cate and Julia has been a fun experience,” said senior Max Klauser. “I’ve been able to talk to Cate and Julia on a peer level and that’s the best thing about the One Acts this year. Knowing that I’m heard by my directors.”

The students in the production have been very happy for their new directors and their imaginative play selection.

The two One Acts are about the differences in people and how pre-existing differences and prejudices cause us to have opinions on people that are only based on appearances.

The play, Swagger, consists of three actors and touches on a flurry of issues including, making responsible decisions, creating relationships with adults/authority figures that are respectful and considering others’ points of view.

A quick lead up to the play is that Daniel, an officer, realizes that the uniform he wears changes how people view him. In eight seconds, your whoe life can change. Leela, a single Mom, struggles to speak to her son Jordan. They have had trouble communicating. Jordan, a sixth-grader who wants a particuar jacket so badly but doesn’t have the funds to afford it and thinks about how he can get that jacket.

The play teaches people that decisions we make have impacts on everyone, not just themselves.

The director for Swagger is Brewer.

“The play Swagger was such an interesting mystery and police story that we had to incorporate it into our One Acts this year,” said Brewer “The story it projects is so powerful and Julia, Mr. Bergin and I loved the message it had.”

The One Act play Twitch, directed by Brajcich, is about how a Jamaican couple in a small American town in the midwest and their neighbors feel very uncomfortable with them.

The couple next door, Nancy and Dom, start arguing about if Nancy is just freaking out about things, but the mysterious departure of the previous neighbors unsettle Nancy and Dom.

Nancy keeps running into them and has no idea how they keep running into each other even at the most random of places. She believes that they have been following her and Dom thinks that she is losing it until the mysterious weird neighbors come over unannounced.

They freak out, open the door and have no idea what they’re in for. In this comedy that teaches us about prejudices and how they cause us to think and act.

“When we read the script we loved it,” said Brajcich “We have been rehearsing nonstop in advanced acting for this play because we want to relay a message of acceptance and love”.

The One Act plays have been centered on social issues this year and that wasn’t a coincidence.

“We wanted a play to emulate the social climate we live in today,” said Klauser. “The plays were chosen for a specific purpose and we want to address the problems in society shown in the One Acts.”

The One Acts this year comprise of seven actors, 3 for the play Swagger and 4 actors for the play Twitch. All actors involved in the One Acts have all taken advanced acting or advanced theater production classes, and their practice times take up most of their class periods.

The production staff has been working overtime to assist the actors in everything they needed to have a great production. With lighting, sound, and makeup all being taken care of by the production staff, all the actors have to worry about is memorizing their lines.

All the actors had nothing but nice things to say about the production staff including the play directors.

“We have been very impressed by the production staff and how they have helped us,” said Brewer. “Every single time we asked them to do something they helped us and we were just so happy with the work they did.”

Everyone involved in the One Acts has worked very hard to perfect every single part of it to ensure great performance.

The One Acts will be performed at Marge Bradburn Theatre on January 18th at 7 pm.