Tag Archives: Drama

One Acts Play Festival

AHS students practice their one act, “The Cards of Fate” (Photo by/Grace Harvey)

AHS students practice their one act, “The Cards of Fate”
(Photo by/Grace Harvey)

By: Grace Harvey

Every year for 19 years, Attleboro High School’s (AHS) drama club finishes their year of production with the One Act Play Festival. On May 16, short plays will be directed by seniors Eli Malo, Evan Laferriere, Tyler Richardson, Adena Darkstar, and Renee Girouard.

AHS science teacher Mr. Peter Tarsi, is the drama company’s coordinator and oversees the production of the One Acts Festival.

“The One Act Play Festival is a day of short plays that are selected and directed by drama club seniors,” said Tarsi, adding,  “I like that it’s at the end of the year so it’s like the last thing that these seniors are doing; it’s their chance to direct after being directed for three and a half years.”

These One Acts can’t be put on by just anyone who decides they want to try directing; seniors must have been involved in a certain number of plays themselves, and have to have experience being directed.

“It’s not any senior who can direct it, it’s seniors who have spent a lot of their time in the Drama Club. The directors must have completed over the course of their time at AHS a minimum of six events, which equals six seasons. They also have to have been directed or have been around directors, like stage managers,” Tarsi said.

The festival goes back to before Tarsi brought the One Acts Festival to AHS. He remembered doing this during his own time in high school and loved the experience. He directed a One Act his own senior that he had written.

“This was an event that I brought in my first year, because my drama teacher at Winthrop High School did this. I think it’s really cool to allow students the opportunity to direct,” said Tarsi.

Over the past 19 years, Tarsi has been exposed to all varieties and types of short plays. Through this wide variety, there are some that will always stand out.

“There are a few (plays) actually that just really came together really well that I’ve just said, ‘Wow I wish I had directed it with that group,’” he said.

This year specifically, the One Acts vary from humor to drama to dark comedy and everything in between. Two are written by students. Laferriere and Steven Timas, although Darkstar will be directing his “Pandora’s Inn.”

“I always look forward to all of them, because, with so many different plays, and this year we have five… I wander around rehearsals and see things that I can’t wait to see on stage. I’m really excited to be with the audience on festival day,” said Tarsi.

Richardson is the senior director for the dark comedy “The Cards of Fate,” by Ed Monk.  This opportunity to be a director prepares seniors for college, especially if they are pursuing an acting career or behind the scenes career.

“It is definitely a lot more stressful than I expected; I have a new appreciation for Tarsi now after being in his place for a bit. This is something I will use in the future, and I have learnt a lot from this,” said Richardson.

Laferriere is the director and writer of the comedy “Order of the Keys,” a short comedy about trees on acid.

“I want to keep writing and directing after this, and I am going to try and publish my play. What I have really learned is that I am a better director than Eli,” he joked.

The other two seniors who will be directing this year are Malo, directing “Face Forward,”  by Brendon Votipka, and Girouard, directing “Drugs are Bad,” by Jonathan Rand. All of the plays vary in genre, cast, length, and setup.

The One Acts Festival is a whole day event, and last from 10 a.m. to around 3 p.m. It will be held in the Bray Auditorium. Tickets will be sold at the door and cost $8 per person.

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One Acts 2014

Samantha Tingue reviewing her lines. (Photo/Angela Porazzo)

Samantha Tingue reviewing her lines. (Photo/Angela Porazzo)

By: Angela Porrazzo

The AHS Drama Club held their annual spring “One Acts” on May 17. Supervised by physics teacher and drama coach Mr. Peter Tarsi, and seniors Mike Pratt, Scott Friedlander, Mackenzie Brennan, Kait Hull, Taylor McLean, Kaitlyn Jumpe, Alyssa Germain and Angelia Sprague, the short plays took on a life of their own.

“One Acts is a whole bunch of mini plays run by seniors who have previously participated in drama,” said Mamanding Nasso, who was an actress in the play directed by Friedlander entitled “That’s Not How I Remember It.”

The idea for this unique type of production was brought to AHS in May 1997 by Tarsi. “The year before I officially became the AHS Drama Coach, some students came to me wanting to do one more event in the spring. Because I wasn’t yet the Drama Coach, I suggested they direct short plays themselves and I’d just be the supervising adult instead of a director. It was an event my high school did, and it was a success there and became one here.”

The requirements to become a director are: students must be seniors; have to have been in six or more shows over their AHS career not including musicals; they have to have earned a varsity letter in drama; and, last but not least, they have to have participated in One Acts before.

“Members of the cast are expected to show up ready to rehearse and perform, treat each other and the script with respect, and perform to the best of their abilities,” said Tarsi, adding, “People don’t always realize how much work it is. I expect students to have fun, but also be willing to put in all that work.”

Every person has a different reason as to why they enjoy the activities they do. “I enjoy doing this because I love drama and I’ve wanted to direct since freshman year when I saw those seniors doing it,” said senior director Kaitlyn Jumpe.

Nasso said, “I want to experience everything high school has to offer, and this is just one more thing I can cross off the list before I leave.”

Senior Samantha Tingue, who is experiencing the drama club for her first time, said, “It’s stressful because there are different perspectives coming from every direction, and memorizing lines is a difficult task. I’m excited for people to see the final product though, but I’m also very nervous to get up on stage in front of people.”

The audience members came and went all day long. Jumpe said, “There’s not as much of an audience as the regular plays we perform. It’s more of a way for the drama club to say goodbye to the seniors.”

 

Memebers of the 2013-14 AHS Drama Club. (Photo/Cameron Merritt)

Memebers of the 2013-14 AHS Drama Club. (Photo/Cameron Merritt)

SCHEDULE

Moring session:

  • 9:00 a.m. – “Post-Its (Notes on a Marriage)” directed by Taylor McLean
  • 9:30 a.m. – “War Letters” directed by Angelia Sprague
  • 10:15 a.m. – “Rise and Shine” directed by Mackenzie Brennan
  • 11:00 a.m. – “I Dream Before I Take the Stand” directed by Kait Hull

Afternoon session:

  • 12:30 p.m. – “Jack vs. Jill” directed by Kaitlyn Jumpe
  • 1:15 p.m. – “That’s Not How I Remember It” directed by Scott Friedlander
  • 2:00 p.m. – “Apocalypse or Bust” directed by Mike Pratt
  • 2:45 p.m. – “The Future Is in Your Tiny Hands” directed by Alyssa Germaine

Once Upon a Time

A title card for Once Upon a Time. (Photo/ABC)

A title card for Once Upon a Time. (Photo/ABC)

By: William Martindale

Once Upon A Time is a television show, created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, which airs on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Sundays at 8 p.m.

Once is on its third season this year and is still going strong. It’s a fantasy drama that revolves around a cast of fairy tale characters who have been transported to the fictional town of Storybrooke, Maine. They’ve been sent here by a powerful curse that robs everyone of their memories and their previous lives.

The show does a magical job of blending both the alien and the familiar. It takes a group of beloved fairytale characters like Snow White, Red Riding Hood and Rumplestiltskin and puts a fun twist on the stories that many people have grown to love. This is part of the show’s charm.

By using popular fictional characters and telling a fresh story, it helps to create a narrative that viewers aren’t necessarily familiar with, drawing them in and keeping them interested.

Now fairytale characters tend to fall into certain archetypes and are very easy to figure out. However, in Once Upon A Time this is not the case. Characters that are usually 2D are made into 3D relatable individuals. People may not relate to Regina, the Evil Queen, bent on causing everyone else misery, but they may relate to Regina, the adoptive mother who is afraid of losing her son’s affections when his real mother rolls into town.

Once has loveable, familiar (yet different), and relatable characters, which are the gems of the show and draws viewers back every Sunday night. For people who haven’t watched this show, they can catch up by either purchasing the first and second season or through the use of the video-streaming service, Netflix.

Ins and Outs of Auditions

The stage in the Bray Auditorium. (Photo/Pete Tarsi)

The stage in the Bray Auditorium. (Photo/Pete Tarsi)

By: Kaitlyn Jumpe

Drama auditions are often portrayed as a time where people sign up, say a few lines, and then go home. However, after watching auditions for a multitude of different shows, this is far from the truth.

The Drama Club offers a variety of shows, each with its own story and style. Simply reading lines on stage doesn’t make the cut.

“I feel like other students don’t know what it actually takes. They take it more as a level perspective,” said Ryan Qumiby, a freshman member of drama.

“I think a lot of people think about acting and singing. They know only what the media presents,” said sophomore and Drama Club member Delenn Martin.

“People just go on stage and read a part,” said senior Alex Wood.

What happens in auditions must go along with what the show requires. The production switches yearly from drama to comedy. This can be as simple for actors and actresses as certain actions, voice quality, or creativity on the stage.

“It’s really whether or not I can understand them, whether their voice has unique qualities to it and making sure they’re just not reading,” said AHS Physics teacher and drama director Mr. Peter Tarsi.

Before the audition starts each student practices their audition piece in their own way. Some rehearse lines with their partner, while others go over what they’re going to do on stage.

 “I’m probably more nervous after an audition than before,” said senior Alyssa Germaine, who is the secretary and treasurer of the AHS Drama Club.

The first show of the year is in the fall. From tales of sorrow like To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday to side splitting comedies like Almost Maine, actors must match the spirit of the script in order to give a truly amazing performance.

As with the fall show, the children’s show, around the same time, demands a different set of skills. The audience is made up of mostly elementary school students, so those who audition bring a different kind of energy to the stage.

Festival is what the Drama Club deems as Varsity Drama. Actors or actresses must show a high level of dedication and the capability to perform a variety of roles. Sometimes auditions are more than a one day process.

“It feels good because you get to be part of a team,” said senior and president of the Drama Club Mike Pratt.

If the actor or actress stands out, then they receive a call back to read a different part, or read a different part in a larger group, or both. The purpose of this is to match up the student with a specific role.

“It means the director wants a second look,” said Tarsi

Auditions match up a student’s traits and acting ability with a character and cast. One student may have the lead while another may be a tree. Regardless of the role, it’s a team effort and everyone in the cast gives it their all.

Almost, Maine

Almost, Maine poster created by the AHS Drama Club. (Photo/Kade Page)

Almost, Maine poster created by the AHS Drama Club. (Photo/Kade Page)

By: Kade Page

On Dec. 6 and 7, in the Bray Auditorium, the AHS drama club presented Almost, Maine, a romantic comedy written by John Cariani, and directed by science teacher Mr. Peter Tarsi.

With a cast of 19, this play contains unusual scenes that recreate the feeling of a miniature play, with two to three people per scene, and, for the most part, the actors and actresses will not return after their scene is finished.

The play is short; only showing short glimpses into each character’s life, yet can still influence the audience’s feelings, as if they are watching real people fall in and out of love in small-town America.

To prepare for this production, Tarsi had an interesting plan; to develop chemistry between the actors, by encouraging the actors who shared a scene to spend quality time together. This is reflected on the stage, making the emotional display of friendships, breaking up and falling in love, even more believable.

Keenan O’Melia (12), a member of the drama club said about his scene partner, Adena Darkstar (11), “I feel like we became a lot closer to each other during Almost, Maine, because we spent so much time together rehearsing for the production that we really got to know each other.”

“While the actors are building chemistry, it’s important to maintain the friendship rather than try to start a romantic relationship or fight with your scene partner, because the actors’ chemistry could make or break the scene,” said Kait Hull (12).

The cast of Almost, Maine will be rehearsing every day during the final week before their production, making for an intense week. Evan Laferriere (11) said, “Even though the week before the production is hard, it’s really rewarding to see it pay off when the audience finally sees what we’ve been working so hard to put together.”