One-Act festival premiers for two weekends |

One-Act festival premiers for two weekends

by Sarah Hauck
Directors of one-acts for DHS's Drama Department's annual One-Act Festival are from left, Kelly Gonzalez, Alessandra Cronin, Dalton Miller and Brittany Smith. Showtimes for performances are 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday and Jan. 15-16.
Special to The R-C |

For a quartet of Douglas High School students the lights will come up on their productions for the first time today.

Four student-directed one-act plays will premier 7 p.m. as part of the drama department’s annual one-act festival.

“I’m usually just a tech, working back stage,” “Chaired” Director Kelly Gonzalez said. “I got to see pieces of the play that could be improved or changed and being able to make those improvements has been fun. As a director I get to see the play come to life.”

The senior’s play is a metaphoric depiction of a person’s potential.

“Chaired” has the biggest cast with 11 younger students, which Gonzalez sees an a positive aspect for her one-act.

“It is a really great play,” she said. “It is meant to be comedic so the younger kids, who are a little more free, portray that really well.”

Directing a cast nearly half the size of Gonzalez’, seniors Ali Cronin and Brittany Smith’s time controlling their play’s outcome has been an experience.

“It has been a little crazy and a little bit hard, but it’s going to be good,” Cronin said. “You have complete control over what’s going on. I’ve been surprised at what my actors are giving me. We’re always making new discoveries about the script and how it can be read and presented.”

“There are so many different interpretations of the play based on how a person reads the script,” Smith said. “You create your own vision for what you think the scene should look like, but that may not be what the cast physically gives you. Sometimes it is better.”

“Puzzle Pieces” deals with the struggles of teenagers navigating the world and their reactions to certain situations.

Cronin and Smith’s cast includes freshmen to seniors.

“We have some really great kids,” Cronin said. “When we first started looking for our play we didn’t know what we really wanted. We were looking through a big collection of books in (drama teacher Amy) Sando’s room. We found something monologue based and created for Thespians.”

“The story is great and it kind of spoke to us,” Smith said. “It chose us.”

For senior Dalton Miller, his choice for a one-act for the festival didn’t come from an overcrowded bookshelf.

“Deceitful Love” is a dramatic play, penned by Miller himself.

“I started writing it the beginning of the summer,” he said. “I love writing and acting and being able to do all of that at once is awesome.”

Much like the other directors, Miller has enjoyed seeing the interpretation his cast has brought to his play.

With the smallest cast, Miller was more specific during the audition process.

“My cast is made up of more experienced actors, both in theater and in life,” he said. “In the play, there are some real life connections like death and relationships that my actors had to have experienced or been more familiar with in order to make my characters come to life.”

Miller has enjoyed being off-stage watching his play come to life.

Shifting and tweaking his play at rehearsals is something he does often, aiming for perfect depiction of his vision.

“I am constantly making revisions,” he said. “It is one thing to see it in my head and then to see it in person. The actors are always giving me different perspectives on the scenes. If I’d cast it differently, I would be getting a totally different vision and scenario.”

While showcasing their new directing skills in four shows, Gonzalez, Cronin, Smith and Miller are also hoping to see their plays performed on a bigger stage.

A panel of three judges will be at the festival voting on which play will continue on to the regional Thespian festival to compete against other high schools.

“Whatever show goes will be a good representation of what Douglas can do,” Cronin said.

“I want them to go just as much as they want to go,” Miller said.

The show starts 7 p.m. today-Saturday and again Jan. 15-16.

Admission is $5 for presale tickets and $7 at the door.

For more information on the show contact drama teacher Amy Sando at