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.