One-act festival to begin

April 4, 2008 — by James Jiang

one-act festival

This story was originally published in the April 4 edition of The Saratoga Falcon

With only 44 days between setting the final casting lists and opening night, the One Act Festival, directed by members of the drama department, will be a rushed composition of eight different shows. All seven shows and one movie are comedy based but some are more serious. The seven seniors and one junior director choose their own play and cast and directed the entire act.

All seven shows will be performed each night on April 25, 26 and 27 in the McAfee Center.

Variations on the Death of Trotsky
Director: Junior Eddie Zhang

People die of old age, car accidents, overdose and other times, secretly. Zhang’s play, Variations on the Death of Trotsky, discusses comedic ways in which the anti-Stalin leader Leon Trotsky dies.

“This play isn’t about [Trotsky] so much as about how a person can lose their ego before they die,” said Zhang. “In the play, he dies eight times and comes back to life each time. It’s hilarious until the actual end [when] the final scene ties everything together.”

The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of Where Babies Come From
Director: Senior Kristin Gouchnauer

Gouchnauer did not realize her show would be deemed “too controversial” for the One Act Festival. Instead, it will be shown as a movie the week before. The show spoofs the mystery novel series The Hardy Boys, putting the boys in a situation that involves a lot of sexual innuendos.

“They’re on a new adventure when they find out that Nancy Drew has a ‘bun in the oven’ and they try and find out what it means, so they go to the sex-addicted school nurse and learn new ‘things,’” said Gouchnauer.

There Shall Be No Bottom
Director: Senior Niamh McGinley

It is one thing for an actor to act but it is another to have the actor act like an actor. In McGinley’s one act, four actors will portray actors who must save a show from themselves.

“Each actor has their own little quirks,” said McGinley. “One actor skips large chunks of the script, another actor can’t improvise very well, and another actor keeps misdelivering his lines.”

An Actor’s Nightmare
Director: Senior Nelson MacGowan

We all know the saying “Good night; don’t let the bed bugs bite.” However, in MacGowan’s show, bed bugs are the least of your worries. An accountant dreams of stardom but soon realizes it is not all that easy to be famous.

“In the dream, he’s the lead of his show and he doesn’t know any of his lines,” said MacGowan. “To make the nightmare even worse, he’ll switch place randomly between the nightmare. So he’s in the middle of one show and then he’ll be in Hamlet.”

Boiling People in My Coffee
Director: Senior Dilara Cirit

Some people believe in a life after death and others don’t. Still others refuse to acknowledge that a person is dead and thus digs them out of the grave. Such is the story of Cirit’s play. Even though their son is dead, the two parents refuse to accept the fact.

“They’re having a really hard time coping with his death, so they bring his corpse home from the graveyard every couple of days and treat him like he’s a live person,” said Cirit.

The Complete History of America: Abridged
Director: Senior Sean Pierce

When US History AP gets too difficult, students often look to APNotes for help, but three pages of notes can’t cover everything. Students need more exposure to history in order to understand the material. Pierce ‘s show, The Complete History of America: Abridged, sums up everything American and historical into one act.

“There are three characters, and they are trying to explain to the audience the complete history of America, but in the process they completely butcher and distort every aspect of it,” said Pierce.

King Arthur’s Socks
Director: Senior Carolyn Miller

When finding your true love is oversimplified, the world gives you love triangles. And when love triangles get oversimplified, the world gives you situations when three women, two of whom are married, all love the same man, who is also married.
“It starts out with a woman whose husband is away,” said Miller. “She’s engaged to [another] married man. Then maid comes in and says that the night before, she snuck in and kissed that married man. And then the married man comes in. It’s very interesting.”

The Spot
Director: Senior Kevin Cho

Ratings play a huge role in whether or not a TV show will continue. TV shows get cancelled over bad ratings and new seasons with good ratings. But when ratings carry an election talk show, chaos ensues. Cho’s play, The Spot, reveals the chaos in all its glory.
“[There is] this political talk show, and they bring someone on to support the candidate,” said Cho. “The entire support crew of the show then goes crazy paranoid over ratings and such.”