Seniors direct one act plays


Submitted from Vandegrift's theatre instagram

Senior Director One Act shows for 2021 are announced on March 21, 2021

Abby Lincks and Taylor Chronert

Five seniors will showcase their One Act Play live in person on March 13 and 14. The first performance will happen on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. with “Horrors” directed by senior Alex Roberston, and ending at 8:30 p.m. Cotton Girls, directed by Alle Nau’s performance, as well as the virtual performance of senior director, Izzy Sommers, Sorry Wrong Number.  Same time, but different order the second day. 

“Other senior directors and I are working hard to be able to show the past ones that we’re very grateful, know what they went through, and we’re not going to waste this opportunity, being able to do it in person,” Roberston said.

Due to COVID-19 precautions last year, sudden changes led previous senior directors to forfeit their directorial debut. 

“I knew quite a couple of kids who got put in these amazing roles and just weren’t able to do them, it really could’ve been something for them,” Sommers said.

The upcoming student directed one act plays represent a turning point for VHS’s theatre department. The resilient students and teachers strive to do their very best amongst limiting circumstances, which is what led Sommers to make the decision to have her One Act Play performance be virtual.

 “I had quite a couple of kids who came up to me and were kinda sad that they weren’t able to do an in-person performance, whether it’s because their families have health issues or they just didn’t feel safe enough going into in-person quite yet,” Sommers said. “That’s why I decided to change my performance to virtual,  so they can still have fun without putting their family’s or themselves at risk and the script I chose accompanied that.”

In preparation for the One Act Plays, senior directors are expected to carry out all responsibilities leading up to their plays, ensuring their performances go smoothly.

“What I have to do pretty much day by day is make a huge calendar. I have to make sure my calendar doesn’t conflict with my actors and that everything is running smoothly,” Senior director of Laundry and Bourbon, Audrey Kimball said. 

Precautions have been set in place due to COVID-19 for the safety of everyone involved. However, with precautions comes limitations. The maximum number of people involved in each play is set at four and there is a limited number of crew members who can aid the directors in their unique vision.

“I’ve definitely learned how to come up with things on my own and not have to rely on others,” Robertson said. “Because personally, I don’t have a stage manager to help me figure out props and costumes.”

They may be flying a bit solo as far as the position of director goes however, the bond with their casts make up for all the absence.

“I love being able to bounce back and forth with my cast about something funny that we could do in the show or just an idea that we all see in our brains,” Robertson said. 

Comedy is a huge factor present in Paul’s Ghost, involving three girls trying to contact the ghost of Paul McCartney with an Ouija board after the conspiracy theory surrounding his supposed death in a car crash.

“From this play, nothing is too serious and even when it is serious, comedy just makes everything better,” senior director of Paul’s Ghost, DJ Agleton said. 

Play Horrors circles around another three girls having a typical slumber party when they realize they are in a horror movie.

“It’s a very big show on that women aren’t helpless,” Robertson said. “ It’s a very comedic show and it’s a lot of laughs and funniness but when it gets down to it, you don’t have to grow up in a world where you feel like you have to be afraid all the time just because you’re a woman.”

With a limited number of people participating in each play, the connection between cast, crew, and directors has become more intimate, more so than previous years.

“I know two of my actors out of three, Emerson and Beth,” Kimball said. “I’ve always known them but I haven’t seen how they worked, and for my last girl, she’s just a freshman. I haven’t really gotten to see a lot of the freshmen this year because we’ve all been virtual so it was an opportunity to see her grow, and see them think through the show.”

Put in the hot seat, directors have chosen to give it their all with these final performances. The process is hard work and confidence is imperative, in cast and crew, the play itself and most importantly, the directors themselves. 

“I’m very introverted and it’s weird because I’m in theatre. So, sometimes it can be hard for me to take on a leadership role,” Senior Director of Cotton Girls, Alle Nau said. “I’m also anxious and all that so I’m terrified that everyone’s like ‘She can’t handle this,’ but, just being able to go into it and being able to be like ‘Okay, let’s do a read through today,’ and just being able to do it, I got this.”

Similar to these directors nearing the end of their senior year, three girls discuss their plans for the future and much more before they are off to college in play Cotton Girls. 

“I feel like everyone can see themselves in one of the characters even though it takes place in the fifties and they’re all wearing poodle skirts,” Nau said. 

This performance is the final time in which the seniors perform with Vandegrift. Sommers said that she has bittersweet feelings, and it doesn’t feel real.

“This is definitely the most I’ve ever gotten to direct and to have this much power and influence on, and it’s also just kinda weird it’s my last show ever,” Sommers said. “I’m really just going to miss the experience of working with people, and developing their growth in their character.”

Kimball said that she encourages all theater seniors next year to take part in senior one act play, as she thinks it’s an amazing opportunity.

“I think if you have the time commitment, it’s really something that’s worthwhile because you get a completely different experience than you would working with a director,” Kimball said. “It’s a lot more personal, all of us in theater know each other very well, we know some aspects of each other and so we just grow really close, so it’s an amazing opportunity even if you never got bigger roles.”

Social Media Handles:

VHS Theatre Instagram

Audrey Kimball Instagram

Alex Robertson Instagram

Alle Nau Instagram

DJ Agleton Instagram

Izzy Sommers Instagram