High School Thespians Present One-Act Plays

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Payson students rehearse their one-act plays, also directed by students. From left to right stand Eryk Stradling, Audrie Bott and Julia Legassie. The three-night run debuts Jan. 21.

The Longhorn Theatre Department of Payson High School proudly presents its annual “Senior-Directed One Acts,” which will debut Thursday, Jan. 21.

The four one-acts, “Draper Caper,” “Bingo,” “Death Shade” and “Sure Thing” will run on Jan. 21 and 23 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Seth Scott is happy to make his directorial debut with his comedy mystery play “Draper Caper.”

“Directing a one-act was like being a part of every awkward moment there is. It was the best thing I’ve ever done and I can’t imagine what it’s like directing three acts,” said Scott.

Senior Robert Goodwin is happy to present “Bingo,” a hilarious romp about a group of senior citizens in a nursing home. Goodwin was very excited at the opportunity to direct his peers.

Amber Clark, a veteran director, will present a play about life and death called “Death Shade.”

When asked how she cast her show, she said, “When we were casting, it got down to these three actors, and we knew this was the three for the show. I think the collaboration of all four of us has really made this show come together.”

Audrie Bott is excited to premiere her one-act, “Sure Thing,” a cute and funny tale of boy-meets-girl.

“Directing was a great opportunity,” she said. “I learned so much about myself and my actors. We struggled and laughed at times. I watched my show grow in amazement and it truly exceeded my expectations.” Parental discretion is advised for “Sure Thing” and “Death Shade” for mild language.

Of course, plays don’t rely on just actors and directors. Technical directors work to ensure that the plays have sets, props, furniture, lights, and sounds. Senior Brett Goodwin is the technical director for “Draper Caper” and “Death Shade,” and senior Melissa Shepard is the technical director for “Sure Thing” and “Bingo.” Each has a team of technical assistants to help get everything done.

The annual one acts are a great opportunity for students to gain experience in leadership positions, as well as experience working with their peers, drama students say. As an added advantage, the plays are invited to compete at state acting festivals. This incentive pushes the directors to make the plays the very best they can be.

Bott took her one act “Sure Thing” to competition in November, and earned three superior ratings, a huge honor. “It is really rare to get three superiors,” said teacher Kathy Siler. The other three plays will compete at festivals in the coming weeks.

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