Senior one acts: a buffet of plays

Ames High has always had a rich history of fantastic theatrical performances, but typically, the actors are students, and the director is an adult instructor. Senior one acts, however, are a different story. In senior one acts, students do everything, including directing. "In a normal play there will be 2 or 3 acts with an intermission between each," senior Robbie Dennis said. "One acts are special because they are short and concise, they are to the point and, often, they will have a moral or message, unlike most plays." This year, there are a total of five one acts, directed by nine seniors. Dennis joins Max Peterson and David Shirbroun in directing "Atlas’s Cigar." "[Atlas’s Cigar] is about a high school senior who meets the new student teacher and their relationship," Dennis said. "It’s really deep and actually, though it may sound like a comedy, it is quite serious." Senior Stella Fritzell is directing "Can Can," written by Romulus Linney. "’Can Can’ is basically a piece chronicling the relationship between people in two different circumstances," Fritzell said. "It’s really difficult to give the play justice by only describing the plot, so that’s all I’m going to say." "Jerry and Tom" will be directed by senior Grant Brothers. The one act is about two hitmen, one a veteran and the other a novice. "[Jerry and Tom] is essentially like ‘Pulp Fiction’ whereas there is a lot of talking and conversation, and then a gruesome death," Brothers said. "It’s all told in flashback and it gets interesting. There are also some great death scenes." Kuper Bergman and Thomas Eslinger direct "Twitch," which is about a family who decides to invite over their neighbors. They soon realize, however, that their neighbors are a little odd. The final one act, "Adaptation," is directed by Lindsay Wyckoff and Elijah Cunnally. "It’s about a guy whose life is a game show," Wyckoff said. "He goes from birth to death collecting Maturity Points and searching for the Security Square while a Games Master narrates and points out all the decisions he makes that either advance or retard his progress toward Security." The directors this year have chosen a multitude of different stories. With this diversity, the audience will be able to experience almost every genre of plays. "Every director has picked a very different play and I think it is great that all the plays get to be displayed for everyone all in one night." Brothers said. Many of the seniors directing the plays have also acted. The acting experience will undoubtedly help the young directors. "It takes a lot of people to make a show go, and as a thespian I have seen a lot of the acting side, but it is really cool to finally get to experience a little bit of the leading side." Dennis said. "Directing a play entails much more than you would think: coordination with tech crews, set, and organizing practice for the casts, as well as the added stress of controlling your cast during rehearsal." The seniors must take leadership roles and coordinate everything that a teacher would otherwise do. This added responsibility, in turn, causes a lot of stress. "This week is tech week, which means that we’re finalizing absolutely everything with these plays," Fritzell said. "We’re going to have to run through lighting plans, sound and light cues and set changes. Tech week is typically very exciting but very stressful." As the curtain rises and the show begins, the directors will finally be able to sit back and watch their creations tonight and tomorrow night.