CJ Performing Arts Presents: "A Night of One Acts"

For the second year, students will direct their classmates in short plays when the performing arts department presents A Night of One Acts on Saturday, April 30.

"I am always excited to see how the student directors' work comes together and how satisfying that is for them," said choir and drama teacher Caitlin Bennett. "Being a first time director can be nerve-wracking because you want everything to go perfectly. There is something really special about putting something you directed in front of an audience for the first time. I am looking forward to them experiencing that. It is a unique opportunity for them."

Jacob Ely '18 was an actor in a one act last year and is directing this year.

"I wanted the other experience, to be on the other side of the process," Ely explained. "It is really educational from my point of view. It is also different because I have never had the opportunity to direct before."

"I think it's a great opportunity," agreed Sean Stewart '16, who is also directing. "It allows some of the people in the department to take more of a leadership role and flex their knowledge of the craft. It makes them better performers by understanding that part of the process."

Anna Kutter '19 is not only directing in this year's production, but she is acting in three additional performances.

"It's crazy," Kutter acknowledged. "I'm most excited to direct because I have never done any sort of directing before. It's very cool to have the plays that are complete stories but told in a short format."

Two students from the Acting II class, including Kutter, will be directing in A Night of One Acts. Other students from the Acting II class will be some of the performers in the shows.

"Last year, the Acting II class worked on a one act for their final performance project of the year," Bennett noted. "They performed it, but it was on a weekday night. I decided that we will just make their performance a part of The Night of One Acts so that they have more of an audience."

 The productions that will be featured in A Night of One Acts are A Sure Thing, The Ugly Duckling, A Cut in the Rates, Mother Figure and Enchanted, I'm Sure.

"A Sure Thing is based off of an improve game," shared Stewart. "Whenever the bell rings, the actors change what they are saying. The bell ringing is something they don't acknowledge. One moment they will be shy and timid, and then the bell rings and they will be yelling at each other. The actors have to be able to switch gears quickly."

When asked about his one act, Ely said, "The Ugly Duckling is not the original Ugly Duckling play, it's a satire. It starts out with a king, a queen and a chancellor talking about how they're going to marry off the princess who is very plain and not beautiful. There is a lot of irony in the show about how society expects us to be beautiful. It reflects on how if you're beautiful of character, you don't have to be beautiful physically."

Kutter said she most relates to the character she plays in Mother Figure.

"In Mother Figure, I am Rosemary and I visit my next door neighbor because I'm worried about her and how she's doing," Kutter explained. "It's interesting because we don't know anything about the character before she walks into her neighbor's house. It's also interesting learning who she is and how she relates to her neighbor."

A Night of One Acts will be performed in the CJ cafeteria. The show begins at 7 p.m. General admission is $5.

Posted April 28, 2016