From stage to screen


Jamar Walker

Left to right: Seniors Rene Williams, Ellie Westlund, Satori Rekstad, Pheonyx Whittkopf strike a pose in the third floor hallway

By Jamar Walker

Everyone enjoys going to a good show at the theatre, but One Act brought the theatre to its viewers this fall. Since the pandemic started, many people have been looking for a way to entertain themselves online, and One Act has helped with this. However, switching to virtual wasn’t necessarily easy for an acting club. Figuring out how to film the play and keep it online was definitely an obstacle. Senior Shea Callaghan, an actor in One Act, realized this dilemma when helping behind the scenes.

“We’re trying to figure out how to keep the plays online for more than just a day,” stated Callaghan.

While getting it online, there was another major issue facing the Act One crew: time. With the plays being done in a school setting shortly before the whole district went virtual, there was no room for redos. Cheri Tesarek, director of One Act, knew that they had to get their play done and get it done fast.

The biggest issue was the small window of time to get the filming done before the move to distance learning,” said Tesarek.

Nevertheless, she figured out how it would get done. With students filming individually throughout the building, not only did it allow them to regulate sound quality while distancing, it provided them with a new type of acting.

“It also gave our actors a chance to do film acting which is very different from stage acting. In film, small facial gestures translate easily, on stage you have to gesture to be seen in the back row. It was a good experience for actors who may want to go into the film acting. The plays aired were Fire Exit by Stacie Lents and Husbands Say What? The second one was Tesarek’s adaptation of a Ferenc Molnar public domain play called “A Matter of Husbands.” When they aired, the number of viewers increased due to the free plays streaming online.

“I haven’t gotten the final numbers yet but it is right around 100 people viewed,” Tesarek said.

With the first play being a success, the One Act team is now setting their sights on the future. Amber Gilbert, assistant director, has come up with a ‘choose your own adventure’ play, that is being written by Luke Moravic, a local writer. The actors will start off as they normally would, but the audience will decide what comes next, and the actors will do so accordingly. 

“It’s a very cool concept that starts with a central plotline, but then characters will go off to different adventures that the audience will choose. Kind of like an escape room with a lot more detail,” Tesarek said.

Viewers can look forward to plays like this and many others in One Acts future, whether it be on stage, or online.