One Acts: A collection of short, student directed plays

Emma Jiang, Managing Editor

Junior Osmanthus Lynch rehearses his play, “I’m in Love With Your Car” directed by senior Ben McAuliffe and junior Isabel Armstrong, near the Tower Building at Palo Alto High School after school. The actors are avidly practicing their play as the performance date nears. “I think it [One Acts] is very high reward from very low risk,” McAuliffe said.

Theater students will be hosting One Acts, an annual showcase of student-directed plays, at 7:30 p.m. for three nights starting tomorrow in the Performing Arts Center at Palo Alto High School.

Like previous years, all acts are student directed and all but one of the acts are student written, according to senior Christina O’Konski, co-director and writer of “Unfinished Business (Law).”

“I think that’s what makes this One Acts very unique,” O’Konski said. “You come and see this and you’re going to see five shows that you cannot see anywhere else.”

Due to the fast-paced nature of the show, nearly all of the plays are comedies, according to O’Konski. The only exception to this is the longest act, “The Apprentice,” co-directed and written by senior Devony Hof and senior Jared Schlenker, which takes on a more serious tone.

In addition to the six plays, there is also a group of students performing improvised plays. Actors are given a random set and costume, and receive randomized sound cues throughout the performance.

“It’s difficult for improvisation to find performance opportunities, but One Acts we do every year,” said Hof, the improvisation troop lead.

One Acts is a rare opportunity for students who are not a part of a typical theater class at Paly to have a chance to act, according to senior David Foster, co-director and writer of “Fish Tacos.” Because the productions are so small and short, rehearsal often lasts for only three weeks, and the schedule is determined based on actors’ flexibility.

“Despite that, the cast still bonds, and a lot of awesome stuff comes out of it,” said junior Isabel Armstrong, co-director and writer of “I’m in Love With Your Car.”

Tickets are $5 per student and $10 per adult and will be sold at the door. More information can be found here.