Seniors write, design, and direct mini plays for the annual One Act Festival

Lena Bianchi, Head of Illustration

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The One Act Festival is just around the corner, but the senior directors have spent the last few months eagerly preparing for the spring performance. Comprised of short plays ranging from comedies to dramas, the annual One Act Festival is a highly anticipated production that is written, directed, and designed by Urban seniors. This year’s show will feature ten productions, which directors started writing in early December followed by two months of rehearsals with student actors to produce the two week final performances.

During their weekly U-period class dedicated to writing their pieces, the seniors were able to bring their ideas to life.

“The writing process was difficult for me because I didn’t like [my One Act] for most of the time I was writing it. So the best part was when it finally came together and I had a full, polished draft,” said Ronan Weber, director of “With Two Shots of Murder.”  

Amelia Tierney, director of “Lamplight,” said, “you spend all this time on this creative piece and then directing is this whole other term to just keep digging. If you’ve written something that you really care about, it’s really fulfilling to see it brought to life.”

Tonalli Vargas, who is reviving “The Sopranos are Dead” written by an Urban alum, said, “[This One Act] was good for me because there was a lot of comedic elements but also video clips involved. I feel like each One Act is a reflection of each of the directors personality and you can see that show through. And even though I didn’t get to write mine, I feel like to an extent I can really channel my own personality traits and idiosyncrasies through my actors.”

The casting process consisted of two days of open auditions, with 48 people auditioning for 45 parts. There were “a lot of girls and not too many guys or freshman. People had to make sacrifices and cast girls in places where they wanted to cast guys,” said Leo Krinsky, director of “Did You Say Gay?”

“The actual audition process is really hard because there is so much talent, and you have to keep waiting until you really see someone as the character,” said Tierney.

While many One Act directors have acted in previous years’ plays, becoming a director was a more work than they anticipated. As directors, seniors were also tasked with figuring out their own light design, set, and props to accompany their show.

“As an actor I just showed up and was ready, but now I’m the one to do it,” said Krinsky, who has acted in the One Acts Festival for three years.

Zara Jamey, director of “Hurricane Fifi,” explained, “I’m trying to figure out how I can best run my rehearsals, and I try to remember [from last year] how much I loved the dynamics between me and my cast. I really wanted to direct a play because I wanted to know what it was like to deal with everything, but I [still] really love acting.”

The ten plays in the One Act Festival will be split between two weeks from May 22 to June 2, 2018.

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