Seniors write and direct annual one acts

Tikloh Bruno-Basaing, Staff Writer

Since the mid 1980s, Urban School students have had the chance to put on their own plays at through the One Acts class. One Acts is a class taken by seniors, where they are given the opportunity to write,  cast and direct their own plays in the Gumption Theater. All students at the Urban School, regardless of previous experience and talent, are able to audition to act in these plays.

  This year, One Acts will be taking place from Wednesday, May 24 through Saturday, May 27 with a free preview on Tuesday, May 23. Unlike last year, with thirteen plays, half of which were performed each week, this year has only eight plays, which will all be displayed on each performance night. There is much excitement for this year’s production with fresh casts and talented directors. “the directors are more prepared than ever… I think [the plays] are well written and they are concise. I think the performance is going to be really strong,” said Frances Evens, faculty director of One Acts. According to James Hill (‘17), who is directing a One Act this year, out of about 80 students that auditioned, there were no boys from the freshman grade. “I think it’s a huge L on behalf of the freshman class that none of the boys are willing to be part of arguably the best extra curricular experience at Urban,” said Hill.

  “[The One Acts festival] is part of the culture of the school,” said Frances Evens. “Spring One Acts have been consistently one of the most important parts of the senior year,” she said. The seniors are given virtually complete freedom with their plays, allowing them to show the public a story of their own creation. “It is an opportunity for senior students to have a personal expressive form that is displayed in public,” said Evens.

  One Acts are unique because they are one of the only shows fully run by students. “There’s less of a pressure in the environment and it’s more community involved,” said Crosby Tatham (‘19), as opposed to performances directed by faculty.

  A diverse group of students work together to put on these plays. “I want people to know that it’s a lot of fun and it’s a really good opportunity for grade bonding,” said Hill, who acted in two years of the One Acts.

  Tatham, who has been an actor in One Acts for both of her years at the school, said “it’s a great opportunity to interact with people you don’t know that well.” It is also a way to expand your comfort zone and break social barriers. She said, “As a freshman, I didn’t interact with upperclassmen at all because… I was really scared of them, so when I was given a space to interact with them and pseudo-be-myself in the character, but also just hang out, it was very rewarding and I felt like I made some friends.” Through the One Acts, she said,  “[I was able to] find comfort in people I didn’t know and was scared of.”