Role Reversal: One Acts Let Actors Direct

Alex Greene '13

Alicia Lourekas, Staff Writer

Directing a play is an impressive accomplishment for many adults, but at Staples, students are stepping up for the challenge.

For the past couple of weeks student actors and directors have been practicing for two hours everyday, and through hard work and lots of laughs, they have produced 10-minute plays by themselves.

These plays are called One Acts and are student-directed with typically two or three actors in each play. The plays can range from dramas and comedies to thrillers. This year’s One Act Play Festival will take place on April 28 and 29.

The Directors

Every year at Staples, student directors have the tough job of making a theatrical statement in only 10 minutes.

The directors begin by choosing from a list of plays after reading them in directing class. They find the script they are most excited about and interested in doing. They also must cast it, stage it, make a set design, and mark up scripts for each character.

“I had a very hard time picking my One Act; I would read and read, but nothing would hit me,” said Adam Mirkine ’13, student director. “I ended up picking my One Act past the deadline, but now I couldn’t be happier with it.”

For many new directors, it’s hard putting together a play. They have to delve into the scripts, searching for creative ideas that would get their play’s message across in a more entertaining way. 

“It’s really cool to envision what you think the piece should look like and then watch your vision come to life throughout the process,” Tyler Jent ’13 said.

One of the many jobs of these directors is casting. This is a new experience for many of these student directors, having only been actors in plays. They are used to having all eyes on them. By becoming a director, these actors are able to feel what it’s like being behind the scenes instead of being on stage.  

“The best moment for me in this process has been casting my actors, who have so much potential to make this a great play,” Alexandra Rappaport ’13 said.

Directing is out of the ordinary for these students, and each one decides to direct these plays for a different reasons. It’s the reward of watching a play they designed and directed come alive; They challenged themselves with something new.

“I’m usually one to be on-stage, so I thought that it would be a good experience for me [to direct],” Ashley Snow ’13, student director, said.

The Actors

A play can only be as good as the actors, and directors must choose the actors that they feel best fit their play. Auditioning for these plays and landing roles are what some actors refer to as “callbacks.”

“One Acts are unique because you first audition and then get called back to several shows depending on if the directors think you could play a certain part,” Gregg Bonti ’12, student actor, said.

Bonti is currently cast in the one act “The Cooking King,” which is a comedy directed by August Laska ’13. Even though Laska is new to directing, he worked hard to cast the most suitable actors for his play. 

Being the director of “Rumors” this year and acting in an One Act last year helped Bonti become a better actor.

“I was in One Acts sophomore year, directed one junior year, and now I am thrilled to have the opportunity to act in them again,” Bonti said.

The End Result

Without any prior directing experience, students must work hard and be dedicated to learn and direct a 10-minute play. For the past 12 years that One Acts has been produced, the directors have shown that with lots of rehearsal time and a deep understanding of the scripts, these plays can turn out to be something to remember.