The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

One acts bring video games, musical ditties and Greek frogs to the stage

THE+STAGE+IS+SET.+Lights+up+and+sound+set%2C+freshman+Ava+Doody+sits+at+the+tech+table+during+a+run+through+of+the+one-acts+on+Thursday+night.+As+a+member+of+the+tech+crew%2C+she+said+%E2%80%9CYoure+still+part+of+it.+But+you+arent+like+out+on+the+stage+in+front+of+like+400+people.%E2%80%9D+The+competition+show+and+two+student+directed+one-acts+will+be+performed+Jan.+26+on+the+Huss+Stage+at+7.+p.m.
Annika Kim
THE STAGE IS SET. Lights up and sound set, freshman Ava Doody sits at the tech table during a run through of the one-acts on Thursday night. As a member of the tech crew, she said “You’re still part of it. But you aren’t like out on the stage in front of like 400 people.” The competition show and two student directed one-acts will be performed Jan. 26 on the Huss Stage at 7. p.m.

Video games. Greek Mythology. Childhood memories. A culmination of classical acts, niche student interests, nostalgia, and creativity coalesce to create a spectacularly unique queue of one-acts Jan. 26.

According to US Theater Director Eric Severson, the purpose of the one-act theater program is for students highly involved with the theater scene to showcase their personal flare on either a classic, overlooked, or student-written production.

First-time directors select their plays, cast them, and choose the costumes, props, and scenery. The point is for students to create anything and everything they want— that is, within the allotted 30-minute time window.

“We really never had to turn [directors] away,” Severson said.

The ways to get involved are endless: there’s a lighting crew, a sound crew, directing roles, prop painters/creators, and performing roles which range from dancing to singing, and anything else a character might express.

The point is for students to create anything and everything they want— that is, within the allotted 30-minute time window.

Freshman Ava Doody is new to the sound crew and appreciates the ways sound lets her be involved with production without being in front of an audience.

“You’re still part of it. But you aren’t like out on the stage in front of like 400 people” Doody said. “it’s kind of fun to just have like a little bit of control and just be like, ‘You know what? I think that needs to be like this.”

GAME ON. Video game designer Jessie Riley (Sunde Auberjonois) and The Editor (Grace Medrano) channel the challenge of creating art while characters within the game — Shadows, NPCs and DoomGirl (Bri Rucker), a character without speech — influence their work. US Theater Director Eric Severson said that he finds “that whole idea of trying to explain your art to somebody or the way that something exists in your head,” to be fascinating. (Annika Kim)

Severson directs show that alumn Emma Johnson Rivard wrote, directed in 2011

The 2024 one-act roster will, in total, perform three acts. Severson directs a competition one-act that is judged in the Minnesota State High School League competition. This year Severson is directing “Doom Girl” by Emma Johnson Rivard, an SPA alumn who graduated in 2011.

“It’s about the challenges and the difficulty of explaining art, but through the lens of video games,” Severson said.

He finds “that whole idea of trying to explain your art to somebody or the way that something exists in your head,” to be fascinating.

In addition to tonight’s performance, “Doom Girl” can be seen during the MSHSL competition, also in the Huss Center for the Performing Arts, this Saturday at 10 a.m.

Putaski composes an original one-act musical

PLANTING IDEAS. Junior Ellie Putaski composed and directs an original musical. In it, Putaski explores the ideas of “not being sure if what’s happened actually happened or if it was made up in your head,” she said. (Annika Kim)

Combining originally composed music and a script, junior Ellie Putaski presents the first musical one-act to grace the Huss stage.

Putaski is passionate about musicals and theater, hoping to take various courses in college, and saw the opportunity to push herself outside of her usual comfort zone.

She finds music to calm her and provide “an emotional outlet,” she said.

With influences from her upbringing, Putaski presents a one-act about nostalgia and childhood memories that explores the ideas of “not being sure if what’s happened actually happened or if it was made up in your head,” she said.

Putaski recalled a dream from sixth grade and explained what it was like to remember the dream years later: “The imagery was so vivid… I was trying to remember if it was an actual place I was at.” It was so vivid that Putaski attempted to find the place she had seen in her dream.

Her one-act is influenced by dreams and moments like this: nostalgia, remembrance, and detecting what is real and what is not.

TRAGIC FUN. Aarushi Bahadur (Heracles/Pandokeutria) scratches the outline of a boat’s name into the wood as Andy Wells (Plathane/Aeschylus) and Murray Goff (Xanthius) look on before a tech run. Director Oliver Zhu combined a number of Aristophanes translations to create a show that combines history and hilarity: “You would have never thought that an ancient Greek play could resonate so much with modern humor,” he said. (Annika Kim)

Zhu turns tragedy into comedy in Aristophanes’ “The Frogs”

Senior Oliver Zhu is directing an edited adaptation of Aristophanes’ “The Frogs,” an ancient Greek comedy. Pulled from ancient Greek manuscripts dating back to 400 B.C., Zhu reviewed multiple translated versions to incorporate in his one-act.

“I cherry-picked to make an optimized version for myself,” he said.

Zhu hopes that his adaptation is funny.

“You would have never thought that an ancient Greek play could resonate so much with modern humor,” he said.

He found the best part of the process was introducing his play to the cast and working on developing his jokes. Zhu looks forward to the momentum picking up during tech week and urges readers to come to see the one-acts: “You only have one showing, and then it’s just never again,” he said.

After weeks of writing scripts and music, casting, directing, costume design, set and prop preparations, and more, the theater crew performs tonight in the Huss Center at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

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About the Contributors
Georgia Ross, Chief Visual Editor
My name is Georgia Ross (she/her). I work as the Chief Visual Editor for The Rubicon. At school, I’m involved in HerSpace, Mishpacha, Music Club, the tennis team, and the Junior Class Leadership Council. I love to go backpacking with friends and family in my free time. I can be reached at [email protected].
Annika Kim, Illustrator
My name is Annika Kim (she/her). I work as the Illustrator for the Rubicon, and this is my second year officially on staff. At school, I work on Iris Art & Lit magazine and act in the theatre productions. I love animation and want to combine computer science with art to tell a story. I can be reached at [email protected].

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