Students perform in annual One Acts production


Katie Czelusta

Sophomores Eli Hay and Skylar Gross prepare for the One Acts.

Lulu Flores and Jennifer Lin

Freshman Elliana Faykus walked to rehearsal ready to get berated by her fellow actor Senior Grace Rustay about her pizza-making skills.

As the school year began, so did the annual fall production of the Upper School One Acts, and one of them included Faykus’s role as a struggling pizza apprentice. Directed by Head of Fine Arts Bill McDonald and Head of Middle School Theater Julia Oppenheim and performed by Upper School students, these short skits premiered in the black box theater on the first weekend of October.

The One Acts are a series of short plays, each lasting around five to ten minutes, that tend to lean toward the more humorous genre.

This year, they showed comedies, dramedies, Sci-fi and a few coming-of-age skits—a little bit of everything. Faykus played the part of a chef’s apprentice who often got yelled at for her incompetence.

These plays are generally connected through an overarching theme. Last year, the theme was “To Tell the Truth,” but this year, the theme was less solidified.

“There’s a connected theme of identity or belonging, but there are a few in there that don’t really,” Oppenheim said. “It’s really like a toss salad.”

The wide range of genres was meant to be more enjoyable for the audience because the skits alternated between dramatic and funny.

This year, the students were no longer writing their own productions partly due to a lack of time coming back into the normal schedule from the pandemic. Sophomore Elizabeth Hay agrees with Oppenheim that the cutting of script writing was mainly due to a “time crunch.”

“I think the department was thinking we need more time to really honor the students’ work,” Oppenheim said.

Although this year’s One Acts weren’t written by students, it didn’t make them any less original.

“Even though they’re scripted, they’ve been creative. I think it’s pretty fun and pretty cool,” Hay said.

Even though not writing their own plays can benefit the students regarding time, they still express a desire to create their own plays.

“I feel like it adds a sort of authenticity to it, to write our own plays, and then act them out,” Hay said.

Luckily for them, this year doesn’t mark the end for the student-written plays.

“I don’t think it’s off the table that in the future there can be more student-authored work,” Oppenheim said.

This year, the One Acts also had a particularly high number of participating actors in comparison to previous years with a total of fifteen people.

The diverse cast of the One Acts, consisting of eight freshmen, five sophomores, one junior and one senior, presented an opportunity for actors to not only improve their skills but to also create inter-grade connections.

“We are a lot closer now, especially after spending hours and hours after school, and just experiencing all of it together,” Hay said.

The actors also found that the One Acts are far less stressful than full plays since the rehearsal process is much shorter. The shorter process allows them to focus on other priorities as well as pursue a passion in acting. For instance, Hay has soccer practice about three to four times a week but still manages to continue acting through the One Acts.

The lower commitment level also serves as a stairway for new actors that are unsure about the time that they are willing to put in.

“They’re so fun,” Hay said, “and if you’re not super into theater, it’s a good gateway.”