All for One, and One Act for All: The 11th Annual One-Act Play Festival

Where can a professional pain inflictor, a deaf and blind child, and a psychotic fraud marriage counselor all be found?

Charlie Greenwald ’12 and Jamie Yarmoff ’12 dance for “Cloudy.” | Photo by Madison Horne'12

No where but the 11th Annual One Act Play Festival, put on by Staples Players.

“I encourage the actors to do what they’re interested in, and they have that opportunity,” Players Director David Roth said.

“That’s why people keep coming back year after year after year. That’s why the Festival is so great.”

DIRECTOR IMPRESSIONS

Each year, the Festival allows students enrolled in Theater Three: Directing to produce and perform their own one-act play. The scenes range from ten to 20 minutes in length and drastically differ in subject matter from act to act.

“There are so many varieties of plays to suit everyone’s personal preference,” student director Matt Greenberg ’11 said.

“I really think One Acts are a great way to showcase a variety of talent which would go unseen without there being so many plays. Everyone works so hard on their show, and each one is different, so all in all it is so cool and interesting to see them all together — a true piece of theater,” Greenberg added.

Whitney Andrews ’11 directed “If, When, and Only” this year. She is currently enrolled in the directing class and, like Greenberg, has learned how to develop a clear image and enhance her directing prowess. She attributes another element of the show to its success–the cast.

“Nothing is like tackling a one act by yourself,” Andrews said. “Manageable, yet very hard, and that’s why I’m so thankful to have such a cooperative cast.”

UNDERCLASSMAN INVOLVEMENT

Forty-nine roles were cast in the Festival this year, close to half of all the roles were played by freshmen and sophomores. Just over a third of the cast in the upcoming spring show “Ages and Stages” were given to underclassmen.

“Freshmen are like diamonds in the rough. Throughout this process I think I have been getting them to shine,” Andrews said.

Because of the five-actor limit per scene, the benefit of experienced actors seems like it would be more desirable. However, according to the directors, the underclassmen this year have exceeded expectations.

“Underclassmen are so motivated to do good work. They really want to make a name for themselves, and one acts are a great opportunity for freshmen to be showcased,” Greenberg said.

Other actors, like Players President Max Samuels ’11, are taking note of the determined freshmen.

“If you didn’t remind me that they were freshmen, I wouldn’t have even thought about it,” Samuels said.

Samuels acted in a scene with two freshmen, Bryan Gannon ’14 and Caroline Rossi ’14. Both, he says, have shown their talent and have made as many contributions to the show as he has, which is an overtly commendable effort.

“I think One Acts is a great thing for underclassmen to get involved with,” Samuels said. “It gives them the experience to work with other students in Players.

PUBLIC OPINIONS

On April 9 and 10, under and upperclassmen alike hit the stage. The simple chic of the set paired with the perceptive directing and acting of the students amounted to a noteworthy performance on all ends of the spectrum.

“I mean, that was just hilarious,” Jocelyn Krim ’14 said after “Pillow Talk,” which featured Sami Schwaeber ’12 as a psychotic fraud marriage counselor.

Others appreciated the more dramatic side of the performance.

“That last one was so deep, but it was so good,” Baxter Stein ’14 said after “The Sister’s Tragedy.”

For some, this year marked their very last One Act Play Festival. For others, it was their very first role in a Staples’ Players show. But for all, the festival was certainly a success.