Senior directors enjoy creative freedom of one-acts

February 7, 2020


Senior Henry Cheney introduces his One Act. This was Cheney’s first year participating in the One Acts. “I felt like a camp counselor. I was happy that my actors listened to me,” Cheney said.

From directing to experimenting with having three additional characters, the annual one-acts that happened last Friday were full of new experiences for students who directed them. 

Senior Henry Cheney co-directed a one-act called “Guillotine” by Steve Martin with senior Henry Vlietstra. This was his first year participating in the One Acts. Despite it being his first time, Cheney said the experience was easier than he had anticipated. 

“I felt like a camp counselor. I was happy that my actors listened to me,” Cheney said. 

Senior Martha Slaven also directed a one-act for the first time this year. She and senior Nina Smetana co-directed a one-act called “O, What a Tangled Web” by John A. Carroll. While most of the One Acts had casts that were three to four characters, Slaven and Smetana had a cast of eleven students. 

“It was crazy having a large group of people that I’m responsible for and having to organize all of that. That was really weird, but it was fun,” Slaven said. 

Senior Peter Michel directed a one-act called “Kingdom Of the Spider” by Nick Zagone with senior Ryan Strobel. This was his second year participating in the one-acts, but his first time directing. Unlike Cheney, Michel found directing a bit more challenging. 

“As someone who has done the one-acts before as an actor, not a director, it was different. It made me respect the profession of directing more because there’s a lot of work involved,” Michel said. 

Regardless of the differences in their experiences, Cheney, Slaven, and Michel were happy with the outcomes of their acts, partially because of the creative freedom they were given as directors. One-acts allow for well-known scripts to be reinvented, an exciting prospect for the directors. 

“Our script was relatively short, so we had a lot of creative freedom,” Cheney said, “We chose to significantly extend the maid’s part for comedic purposes. We made the scene about five minutes longer than it was in the script.”

The directors worked with US Theater Director Eric Severson to produce their shows.

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