One Acts to showcase student creativity

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    Sophomore Peter King (left) and junior Declan Flanders (right) act as cows for the one act “Cow Play,” directed by senior Ophir Sneh. “Cow Play” is the only student-written play this year. Photo by Takaaki Sagawa.

    The Palo Alto High School theater department will showcase a realm of student-run plays in its annual One Acts production from Thursday to Saturday in the Haymarket Theatre.

    The production will consist of seven one-act plays, all of which feature student producers, directors and actors. According to producer and senior Matt O’Reilly, student directors are given autonomy, which adds personal flavor to each play.

    I was interested in having each director do what felt right to them,” O’Reilly said. “When you come and get to see your friends on stage or your friends who are directing them [the plays], you will really get a feel for that individual and how that individual wanted his actors to be portrayed on stage.”

    Junior Jason Pollack, who will be directing “Do Engineers Dream of Androids?” as a third-year One Acts director, has utilized the opportunity to experiment by implementing new developments in his play.

    “There’s lots of things we wouldn’t usually be able to do in a theater production, but Matt [O’Reilly] has given us the ability to spread out and come up with our own ideas, so we have much more creative freedom,” Pollack said.

    One Acts will include one student-written play “Cow Play” by senior Ophir Sneh, junior Leanne Miron and Paly alumnus Ido Gal. The scripts “Horse Girls” by former student Lily Dodd and “Do Engineers Dream of Androids?” by Paly alumna Miranda Cohn will also be featured.

    “It’s much more fun to work on the student-written scripts because it’s not so rigid,” O’Reilly said. “If you want to do something fun and exciting on one of the plays that is student-written, it’s just a matter of asking that person.”

    Unlike the traditional fall and spring Paly theater productions, One Acts encourages students who are not usual participants of the arts to perform, according to O’Reilly. For senior Clara Chiu who took part in theater as a child, this production is the perfect occasion to explore acting once more through her role in “Love (Awkwardly).”

    “I think One Acts is awesome because it presents the opportunity for people who haven’t really done theater or aren’t really experienced to have that opportunity to explore it,” Chiu said.

    One Acts will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets will be available at the door for $5 each.

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