Theatre ending 2020 without senior one-acts

Senior directed one-acts are shows, made up of one act, produced by seniors with theatrical pursuits. This year covid-19 has put an abrupt end to production. As of yet, students have not pursued alternatives.

Senior Joyce Poon, taking headshots of staff and actors for the Zombie Prom playbill she created.

Senior directed one-acts or “SDOAs” is a chance for seniors to put on their very own production. Writing scripts, casting actors, and working with technical theatre students to see their vision come to fruition. Like many theatre arts programs, Perry held senior-directed one-acts to close off the year and end on a bang. Of course all of which has been canceled.

Although Shawna Marquis, the theatre arts and technical theatre teacher who oversees the one-acts, never sent out a full statement, students were able to catch on. “I don’t think Marquis had to tell anyone by the way things were going and how the district sent out an email canceling all April events,” senior and technical theatre student Joyce Poon said, “It was a more of a connect the dots situation.”

Director Manuel Edrozo

After piecing together that one-acts had been canceled along with the rest of the school year, senior and director Manuel Edrozo admitted to feeling “really bummed” more so for the fact that he had been planning his show since sophomore year. “I started brainstorming set designs, costumes, and character types all the way back then,” Edrozo said. Co-directing with Cadence Messier, their show “CYC!” was a comedy meant to capture “the chaos that happens backstage and how much drama there is on and offstage,” Edrozo said.

According to Edrozo “There were other ways we could’ve done it (SDOAs). I know friends who are doing musicals over zoom to stay engaged. But we all kinda just dropped it,” Edrozo said. He explained it was not due to a lack of motivation but rather out of consideration for everyone,” I just decided to let it go. It would’ve been selfish to force everyone to do it if the senior directed one-acts were canceled just because I wanted to.”

Director Isaiah Scruggs 

Senior director Isaiah Scruggs was disappointed to learn about the cancellation as he saw the one-acts as an opportunity to pass on his knowledge of theatre to younger actors. “This mix of learning styles (referring to theatre background) has opened me up to a whole new perspective on not just theatre, but the impact it creates on me and my fellow actors,” Scruggs said, “That’s why this One-Act was special to me.”

“I felt really excited to pass on all that I’ve learned and create a story full of dedicated actors younger than me and spark their potential,” Scruggs said. 

As other directors did, Scruggs already selected his cast. When it came to the casting process, he took it very seriously and had difficulty selecting his actors as he saw their skills shine through. All the actors quickly took to their character’s mindset and Scruggs determining factor came down to how they interacted with each other as their characters. Scruggs’ one-act, “Game of Chance,” was to be a suspenseful survival game played by six friends who were kidnapped by the “Overseer.” With one-acts no longer happening, Scruggs remains optimistic. 

A techy’s takeaway: Joyce Poon

For technical theatre, one-acts are a relatively easier task than a full-blown production and according to Poon“As a techie, you get more close with the actors since it’s a smaller task and there’s less stress upon your job since you have a smaller responsibility sense than you would in a big production.” 

Despite not being a huge production, one-acts offer experiences to techies that bigger productions don’t. “It does give a personal touch to it all. We mainly work with a higher authority, but with one-acts, you get to work more with people around the same age as you. You get to have a bit more freedom,” Poon explained.

For me, I don’t know how to feel about it honestly. It is sad since it was supposed to be my last theatre show. I looked forward to watching and experiencing the cool plots the senior directors wrote,” Poon said, “I think it’s because it’s my senior that I feel bittersweet about it since it would be my last “Hooray” moment and I feel like every senior feels that, especially the senior directors.”