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Behind the Scenes of the One Acts

By Adam Bernstein, Gabe Lefkowitz, and Jake Raphael
Prolific playwrights— One Act directors pose with Mr. Marr, their advisor.

“First and Otherwise” directed and written by Adam Sperling

The one act play “First and Otherwise,” written by senior and director Adam Sperling, is a romantic comedy about about Ray, a stand-up comedian, Harper, an awkward but confident woman, and their friend’s night at a comedy club. Sperling was inspired to write this play after taking a course at USC in performing comedy. Specifically, he cited a moment when he was performing for over 100 people saying, “My most self-deprecating joke started off with me saying, “I’m not… how do I say this… attractive?” and a girl in the audience shouted out “yes you are!” and he thought in the moment, this is perfect for a romantic comedy. A couple days later, he came back to his idea and decided that he would take a stab at writing it. So the one auto-biographical piece of this play is the male lead (Raymond Fire, played by Victor Polizu) performing his stand up joke, and the female lead (Alix Sholomon) shouting out ‘Yes you are!’” Sperling’s play has received substantial positive feedback from the cast, drama department and even actors who are not performing in his play.

Thinking about how his play can leave an impact on future directors, Sperling said, “I hope that the students and parents who come see the play, and the actors in my play and the four others, think about writing their own content. Whether it’s a play, a film, a sketch, or a novel, or fanfiction (but maybe not fanfiction), being able to look down at your laptop and see 18 pages of something you wrote is an awesome feeling. Surreal, almost.” You can see “First and Otherwise” May 3 and 4.


“The Future is in Your Tiny Hands” directed by Brian Volk

“The Future is in Your Tiny Hands” is a short play directed by senior Brian Volk about two candidates for an elementary school election and their heated debate. The topics covered range from marshmallows to Santa Claus. Volk decided to direct his play after taking a directing class with Mr. Marr. He has acted in the one acts and the winter play, but he was interested to see the production from a director’s standpoint. Volk said, “the hardest part about directing a one act is the staging. When you’re acting in a play, you take it for granted that someone took the time to think about each and every movement on stage. Now that I’m directing the show, I have to decide where each actors moves and why they have to move there.” One of the easiest choices for Volk, however, was choosing the type of play he would direct. Volk said that the first genre he looked for was comedy. He wanted a lighthearted play that would make the audience laugh. As a senior who entered the theatre department relatively recently Volk said, “I hope to show people that it’s okay to try something new. Coming into high school, I did not expect myself to be directing a show by senior year. I hope I can inspire some people to go out of their comfort zones because theater is a lot of fun.” You can see “The Future is in Your Tiny Hands” May 10 and 11.


“The Untitled Lucas Cowen Project” directed and written by Lucas Cowen

Senior director Lucas Cowen has been doing the one acts since sophomore year. While he’s loved the experience, he has always been cast as “not much more than an object with no lines.” This year, he wanted something more out of the one acts, so he decided to write and direct his own. He could make the show what he wanted, let his creative juices free, and facilitate a theatre experience for everyone involved that shows how much fun theatre can be in what he thinks is the best way possible. What’s in store with The Untitled Lucas Cowen Project? A little bit of everything. It’s a classic story about some youngsters spending time with their beloved grandparents. It takes the audience through the classic experience of a day at their grandparents’ place. Making phone calls, moving some boxes, doing some chores, staying quiet so they can nap, and, of course, committing a murder. Why? Come watch and find out… You can see Cowen’s one act on May 10 and 11.


“Controlling Interest” by Julian Malater

Senior director Julian Malater has been involved in many different Theatre South performances throughout his High School career. He has directed a few different plays previously, and he is very excited to direct this one act. Malater believes, “the one acts are always fun to do. It is fun to do something shorter and lighter with your friends.” Malater enjoys directing because he feels it allows him to develop every role in the play, whereas acting only allows you to focus on one role. Additionally, Malater enjoys the ability to “make arts as a team” that directing provides.

So what can audiences expect with Malater’s “Controlling Interest”? The play is about kids being businessmen in the work environment. Malater thinks that audiences will appreciate the irony of the situation and hopes to see “everyone invested in something so ridiculous.” You can watch the performance of Malater’s one act on May 10 and 11.


“13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview” by Julia Kelly

Senior Director Julia Kelly is extremely excited to direct her first one act. Directing a one act “has been a dream of [hers] since [she] joined Theatre South and participated in the one acts freshman year.” Although Kelly has not been directing for a long time, she enjoys it. Her favorite part of directing is creating a vision for a show and then getting to watch her peers perform it.

What should you anticipate from her one act? According to Kelly, audiences should expect to laugh at and empathize with characters’ struggles during their interviews. Kelly believes that “whether it is an older audience or an audience full of high school students, I feel as though all audiences can relate to and will appreciate my one act.“ Kelly’s one act is being performed on May 3 and 4.


One Acts Performances:

May 3 & 4

First and Otherwise
Written and directed by Adam Sperling

13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview
Directed by Julia Kelly

May 10 & 11

Controlling Interest
Directed by Julian Malater

The Illiteracy of Karma
Written and directed by Lucas Cowen

The Future is in Your Tiny Hands
Directed by Brian Volk

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