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The Roar

The Student-Directed One-Act Festival

What's going on in this Panther Production

Dana Altarace, Staff Writer

  A hush descends over the crowd as the spotlights flicker on, focused on the center stage. The red curtains swish open to reveal what the drama students have been perfecting for months- the Student Directed plays.

  This scenario is what’s planned for the One Act performances that will be shown tonight and tomorrow evening, March 31 and April 1st at 7 p.m.

  How the Senior Directeds work, is that any Senior who is in the Theater 4 class can choose a play to direct for the show. This year’s four seniors choose “East of Kensington”, “Parallelodram”, “Going to School”, and “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse”. With two as comedies and the other two as dramas, many agree that this balance will make for a great show.


In the first few weeks of 2017, preparations for the shows began with the seniors watching student auditions and casting from them. Sophomore Zach Lipshultz got casted as a major actor in both “Parallelodram” and “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse”. He really enjoyed the whole process of being in the production and making new friends along the way.

  “Its pretty awesome, it’s fun to work with your fellow students and the directors. They’re all great people,” said Lipshultz.

  In the show “Parallelodram”, which is a performance about parallel universes that gradually grow apart as the play goes on, Lipshultz plays as Rainier.

  “Ranier is this super obsessed with mathematics kind of student, it’s is life’s work,” said Zach, who’s looking forward to acting as this character.

  With dress rehearsals coming to an end, many of the actors agree that though it has been a bumpy ride, things have been smoothing out.

  “They’ve been going really well. The first couple have been a little bit rough, but we’re getting there. It’s been getting better as we’ve moved onwards,” said Lipshultz.

  For people who are looking into auditioning for next year’s performance, Lipshultz suggests for students to work on projection and volume.

  “Definitely, the most important thing is that you are heard. Make yourself heard, make yourself loud, project,” said Lipshultz, who is also acting as Sam in “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse”.

  Senior director Caroline Dunn also recommends students to audition because of how fun being a part of the production is.

  “I always thought they were the most fun shows to do in the school because you’re working with your peers, even as directors. Even though we’re putting on a real show, it’s a sort of relaxed environment. They’ve always been the most fun productions,” said Dunn.


  The play practices occur about three times a week and may be held at the school’s Black-Box, or at the director’s house. They typically last around two hours- a good amount of time for the cast to work on perfecting the performance.

  “At first, we start with read-throughs of the script. I [also] start with blocking and having people make choices for their characters. After that, we just keep refining. We’re still adding things now during dress rehearsal week,” said Dunn.

  Dunn chose to direct Going To School as her play, mainly for its comical components and humorous characters.

  “I wanted something that was funny and gave opportunities for the actors to make really good characters. After reading the script, I realized that it had so many moments for really funny gimmicks. It also a great relatable sort of play, since it’s about [a young student] moving into college,” said Dunn.

  During the auditions, Dunn was looking for many skills and specific characteristics from the students.

  “I looked for things like projection and the ability for [the students] to use their bodies, move their face, and have good emotion. I also considered if they had any prior experience, if I had worked with them before, and how that had gone,” said Dunn. Her favorite part about this and the whole process of directing is how she gets to see the actors’ different interpretations of the scripts.

  “I [loved] seeing what people did with the script. Having people bring it to life was really cool to see,” said Dunn.

  Freshman Andreas Borgh is also a part of Going To School, and enjoys the atmosphere and working with the members of the cast.

  “[My favorite part] is the people, it’s like a family,” said Borgh.

  Borgh is also acting in two of the plays- as Nick in Going To School, and Peter in East of Kensington.

  “[East of Kensington] is a creepy rendition of Peter Pan, and [Going to School] is about going to college,” said Borgh.

  One thing that he learned from the whole experience is about the importance of memorizing the script.

  “It’s important to memorize your lines, if anything. Lines, lines, lines,” said Borgh.

   With memorization being an important lesson for Borgh, for Sophomore Kevin Brunette, the hardest part about being a part of the production was finding the time to be in the show and continue with all his other after-school activities.

  “It’s definitely time consuming. It takes away from homework and social time,” said Brunette.

  Brunette acts as Michael in East of Kensington and a zombie in 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

  “It’s fun- I get to meet a lot of new people. It’s [also] really great seeing everything put together,” said Brunette.

  With East of Kensington being a very heavy drama, Brunette gives one piece of advice to the audience.

  “Be ready to weep,” said Brunette.


  Tickets for the show will be sold at the door for five dollars. Come on down to see some amazing performances and help support the Potomac Falls panther productions.

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The student news site of Potomac Falls High School