Royal Productions presents One Acts 2017
February 2, 2017
The house seats in the theater are littered with the bags and jackets of cast and crew members as they practice for performance week of the one-act plays. The air is thick with an aura of excitement, anxiousness, and productivity as the bustle of work can be heard from backstage. With just one day of preparation left before opening night, tensions are high.
It’s been six weeks since production began, and everybody involved has been hard at work for many afternoons out of their days.
“It’s very stressful. It’s a lot of work, and the actors are tired. On Monday, we were in here for five hours.” said Harrison Karr, senior. “There always seems to be a problem that needs to be fixed.”
Karr, who works behind the scenes as the show’s lead sound technician, has worked as a part of the crew for every one act since his sophomore year. He enjoys what he does, and has fun with it.
The hard fought battle for an amazing show is not without its rewards, however. The performances are always overwhelmingly well received, and, in the end, everyone involved has a wonderful time.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely rewarding on opening night to see people enjoying the shows.” said Karr. “In our comedy show with a lot of the sophomores, it’s clear they’re having a good time. We do it for the show, but we also do it because it’s fun.”
To keep things fun, the crew has many pre-show traditions. The cast has their own, the crew has their own, and there are even a few theaterwide traditions.
“Recently, we’ve desegregated the traditions. They were originally just boys and girls traditions, but we’re opening up and trying to make more accepting traditions for our gender neutral students,” Karr said. “We can’t tell you what they are though.”
“If we told you, we’d have to kill you.” said Nicole Szajner, senior, the head light technician.
For Maria Vargas, senior, the HHS theater program, Royal Productions, has been a place in which people come together. In the One Acts, Royal Productions’ winter performance, Vargas has had the opportunity to see a new side of the theater department— she is working as a Stage Manager rather than acting in one of the plays.
“This time around I’m stage managing, and there is something about not being a part of the cast that really gets you to meet new people and feel like you fit in in every aspect of the program,” Vargas said.
Vargas is one of about 70 students who are working to make One Acts happen, including actors, stage managers and costumers. Over the past eight weeks, the crew has been rewriting scripts and rehearsing multiple times a week in order to produce the best possible show.
In contrast to the Royal Productions fall musical and spring play, One Acts offer actors a unique opportunity to hone in on their skills, given the smaller scale of the productions. Additionally, it allows new students an opportunity to be introduced to theater in a less intimidating environment.
“The One Acts give newer people an opportunity to get integrated into the program. It gives you a chance to hone your acting ability. They are much more low key.” said Sophia Peifer, senior.
This year, the One Act plays being performed are “Sovereignty,” “Journey You Need,” “Citizen’s Arrest,” “Freefalling,” and “After Midnight-Before Dawn,” the competition One Act being performed at the Minnesota State High School League 6AA One Act Play Competition. Each One Act ties into a central theme: the secrets of everyday life and everyday people.
“The theme we tried to incorporate, which you can see on the posters, is what is hiding behind the door,” Pfeiffer said. “This year, the majority are more intense than funny,” Vargas said.
The One Acts are showing Feb. 2, 3, and 4 at 7p.m in the HHS Little Theater. Tickets are available for purchase at the door only, and the admission price is $5 for students/seniors and $7 for adults.