One Acts returns: student directed plays coming Feb. 10-11

Cutline%3A+Students+Kerrigan+Dunham+%E2%80%9921%2C+Campbell+Stencel+%E2%80%9921%2C+Quinn+Sahutske+%E2%80%9921%2C+Katie+Larson+%E2%80%9921%2C+Ethan+Harr+%E2%80%9922%2C+and+Ian+Swanson+%E2%80%9921+acting+and+directing+in+the+2019+showings+of+One+Acts.+

Picture Courtesy of Meghan Dunham

Cutline: Students Kerrigan Dunham ’21, Campbell Stencel ’21, Quinn Sahutske ’21, Katie Larson ’21, Ethan Harr ’22, and Ian Swanson ’21 acting and directing in the 2019 showings of One Acts.

Natalie Lemmen '24, Staff Writer

The theater doors reopen this February for One Acts, a series of student directed plays. Following the production of Almost, Maine students are ready and excited to share what they have been working on through the past few months.
Alice Walsh ’22 said each student is hand-picked from a group of applicants to direct a one-act.
“After you submit an application, Mrs. Dunham, (Souths drama teacher and director) picks a group of students to each direct their own show,” Walsh said “The casting, directing, and costumes (are) all put together by the students and (it’s) a very independent experience.”
According to Sage Porter ‘24, In a solely student-based environment, there is far less pressure and less conflict with a smaller cast. Additionally, most rehearsals only take place once or twice a week.
“It’s a lot calmer,” Porter said. “With the play it was a lot more intense because we had rehearsals everyday with a lot more notes and critiques. It’s like something we’re doing for fun and not something we are doing for work.”
Understanding what each actor needs to hear and what is helpful when giving notes is important to directing, Walsh said. There’s a large learning curve to directing.
“I’ve learned a lot on what notes work for certain actors and what notes do,” Walsh said. “Every actor is different so being able to learn and adapt to each actor has been fun.”
Julia Tibbits, ‘24 was incredibly excited to participate in a one-act, as it would be her first show South with a live audience.
“It’s definitely a lot of fun to be able to work on being able to make my own creative choices without feeling judged around the people,” Tibbits said. “The heavy pressure and commitment feels lifted and the rehearsals are just fun to be at.”
The plays are planned to show February 10th and February 11th each show running at about 25 minutes each. The show debuts a lot of genres including comedy, romance and drama and is something students won’t want to miss, according to Walsh.
Senior directors get the opportunity of independent directing and get to look back on their past of being directed while acting in shows and what that looks like, according to Walsh, and that’s helped build respect for their teacher.
“I’ve always worked with Mrs. Dunham so I’ve always been able to learn from her techniques,” Walsh said. “I admire how special she is with the way she gives notes and stuff like that.”