One-Acts strikes hearts

Julianna Poe, Junior Print Editor-in-Chief & Junior Features Editor

Through creative, dramatic and comical performance, the Manhattan High Drama Department and Thespian Troupe 941 proudly presented their One-Act Play Festival.

Last Friday and Saturday, the one-act festival featured “The Mariner’s Revenge” by The Decemberists, “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet” by Peter Bloedel, “Sure Thing” by David Ives, “Of One Heart” by seniors Rose Carter, Jess Finkemeier and Jamia Roberts and “Pepperoni Apocalypse” by Jonathan Dorf.

The week leading into the one-acts went well as the actors and actresses worked on perfecting facial expressions, body language, lines and choreography. Anticipation continued to climb as the festival grew nearer.

“I’m most excited about seeing people’s faces when we tell jokes that we think are funny…” freshman Carissa Brandt, who played Juliet in “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet,” said.

To kick off the long-awaited night, the festival began with “The Mariner’s Revenge,” directed by senior Nathan Pickands.

“The Mariner’s Revenge” was centered around the mariner, played by junior Nathan Paukstelis, and his life’s many unfortunate events, including his mother, played by sophomore Abby Drew, having died. Lyrics narrated the story as the play unfolded an action-packed and dark, constantly twisting tale that ended with the captain, played by sophomore Armando Alicea, being put to death by the mariner.

From there, the audience was introduced to a remix of the infamous play “Romeo and Juliet” retitled as “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet,” directed by seniors Tess Garvin, Jayden Gittle and Jack Laswell.

In this retelling, the story is “seussified” with elements of Dr. Seuss’ children’s books, creating a humorous, edge-of-your-seat compelling show retold by freshmen narrators Justice Britton and Lucy Dunning.

After a quick intermission, the festival continued with a hysterical one-act called “Sure Thing,” directed by seniors Grace Franke, Ryane Hoffman and Finn Huslig.

The scene opened with Betty, played by sophomore Indigo Belanger, sitting at a table for two as Bill, played by freshman Chase Glasscock, walks in. If the scene went ‘wrong,’ a bell was rung and the scene started over. This made for a captivating, romantic comedy and non-stop laughter from the crowd.

Next, the One-Act Play Festival introduced a unique and gripping play named “Of One Heart,” directed by Carter, Finkemeier and Roberts. Written in response to “Romeo and Juliet,” this one-act stood out from the rest.

“A lot of people are doing ‘normal’… plays versus like my group,” Finkemeier said. “[We are] doing experimental theatre, which is something completely out of the box that doesn’t get like shown a lot in theatre.”

“Of One Heart” featured contemporary dancing and poetically spoken lines such as: “I am the Tree and the Lightning that strikes it. I am the Heart and the Knife that plunges in it.” This created a dramatic, thoughtful effect that left viewers in awe.

To conclude the one-acts, the festival ended with a lighthearted play titled “Pepperoni Apocalypse,” directed by seniors McKayla Alberto, Marlena Hummel and Henry Schinstock.

According to Terry, played by senior Kate Washburn, and her group of friends, Fritz, played by junior Brandon Luck, Mchale, played by freshman Emmett Spaw, and Jonah, played by junior Ivy Auletti, the world was going to end in five minutes. As they imagined different ways the world could end, the pizza guy, played by freshman Abby Smith, arrived. The group is then driven to insanity for they believe the pizza is the answer to how the world will end.

All in all, many people were involved in making this festival a reality, and not only was it enjoyable for not just one, but two audiences, it was also an experience to remember for Thespian Troupe 941.

“[One-acts] are always really fun and everyone’s really great and it’s a great experience to get to know people better,” Belanger said.