Students talk about One Act Class

4g7a7312So what exactly is One Act Class?  Not many people have heard of the class and when you do hear the name you still don’t know what the class does.  We had to ask the students in the class to clarify for us.  Christian Loukopoulos talked about the students in the class, “Joining one act means your family is about to get a whole lot bigger! As you will soon find yourself getting to know the people you work with very well and grow close to them, you become a family. And as a family you must work together through thick or thin. Meaning you have to be committed and bring forth your best effort even when things start to get hectic. However don’t worry you will have your parents (Figg and Wayne) to guide you and set you straight on your path to state. If you are able to battle your way to the top from sub district and sectionals, outperforming other schools and improving as you advance you will earn yourselves a spot at state, the final competition. Any way all in all you just work hard, perform a play the best you can and do the job your assigned.”

Ok, still… what does the class even do?  John Sellars explained, “We prepare a short one act play, hence the name, and perform it for judges at various schools, progressing as one would for soccer or football, working our way towards state.”  Renee Schwarz added, “This year we decided to write our own show called Fall of Orpheus, based off the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. After writing the script we went through a process of casting, blocking and creating. After getting our set and costumes completed we performed for Sub-District, which was at Homestead, then for District at Oshkosh, Sectionals at Neenah, and State which will take place this weekend at Stevens Point.”

Sophia Nelson, what has theatre taught you, specifically with One Act?

4g7a7054I knew One Act was going to be a change in pace and unlike anything I’ve ever done before in theatre or elsewhere. I also knew I was going to be uncomfortable and have to push myself outside my comfort zone. What I wasn’t aware of was how rewarding and metamorphic it would be. Being a part of this class has taught me a lot about my peers and myself. I am so grateful to be surrounded by such talented hard working friends. They have given me an opportunity to take risks and learn in a non-traditional way. Eurydice has shown me how to balance strength and sensitivity and that’s something I could have never learned on my own.

Riley Truttmann, what is the difference between last year and this year’s One Act class?

I was expecting the class to be just like this year. I was wrong, I’ll admit it. Last year we did a traditional acting show and this year we did devised physical theatre. The class as a whole has put so much more work and time into this production. Each member of the cast is invested in the show and wants us to succeed.

Why did you decide to take this class TJ O’Connor?

4g7a6996I am taking this class because I enjoy working in crew, and I like being able to take it as a class. I was happy to find that One Act does not run like a typical class– I enjoy the format of it, and how it allows for greater creativity and collaboration than other classes. I also enjoy more artistic and creative classes, so designing in One Act is interesting to me. Building and improving a show as a group and working over time to perfect a single project is an unusual and exciting format for a class.

What are your thoughts on this year’s One Act class Phillip Zuccaro?

This class is not what I expected it to be…It’s a lot better! I am taking this class, because I am interested in devising original art. This class is one of few places in Homestead High School where I feel as if I’m in a creative environment, surrounded by creative people.

Emma Zander, is this year’s class what you expected since you were in the One Act Class last year as well?

4g7a7011Initially, I was worried for the class this year. We were losing three of our leads from last year.  I thought since I had been a part of it last year, I knew the ropes well enough to put in work but not too much. But, wow. I was given a beautiful and loud wake up call by theatre.  One would assume that by taking One Act before, the structure would stay about the same- it doesn’t. I have enjoyed the process of creating just as much if not more than I did last year, but it is different. This class is the ultimate showmanship of the magic of high school theatre. Time after time, we have heard judges say this isn’t a high school show and this isn’t high school work. Except, it is. I think with the right amount of training and hard work, any school could pull of the level of show we create. This class doesn’t jam us into a cookie cutter. We play off of the strengths of each of our members and not only use them, but exhaust them. Exhaustion in the best possible way. We use people’s talents in music, lighting, sound, prop-making, costume designing, dancing and acting to create a one-of-a-kind show.

Renee Schwarz, you are not only new to One Act, but to HHS as well. Is the One Act Class what you expected it to be?

This class is not what I expected it to be. When going to the first meeting during the summer at Colectivo I thought that we had plenty of time to put together a forty minute production. Boy was I wrong! We had our entire script written and then changed the whole story line for it to relate more to our theme. We were changing blocking before District and Sectionals, and I find myself thinking how time passed so fast and how the process went so fast that we never had any breathing time. There was always something to do, something to fix, something to learn. It really pushed me in ways I never thought possible, especially in the physical aspect doing lifts and floor work with the ensemble.

If you could sum up this class in one word, Joe Knuth, what would it be?

4g7a6944To sum up what this class is in one word, it would be empathy. The process of creating the play has been a lot more hands on than what I had expected in the beginning. We have had a great deal of liberty in what we have decided to put in and take out of the play and this has lead to an experience that is more challenging but exponentially more rewarding than I could have imagined. This class is all about empathy in a few ways: to get into character, one must have empathy for that character; to get along well with others, one must be able to empathize with their experiences and see things from their perspective; to be able to appreciate the efforts being made by each cast and crew member and empathize with each individual’s process.

Andrea Griffin, how has the play changed from the District competition to the Sectional competition?

I think that between competitions the play has continued to moderate the amount of physicality so that it has the desired effect but isn’t overpowering the storyline. Overall, emotion needs to be incorporated more to show the different connections/relationships between people in a way to help the audience understand the different situations. Also, since we’ve been practicing the play so much, it’s become easier to run through but has also become rushed and I think that we need to work on savoring the moments and slowing down to help the audience appreciate what’s going on so they don’t miss it or so that the intended result isn’t overshadowed by the rapid pace of trying to get through the piece and get done.

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