The lights in the audience fade to blackness. They quiet down until a still silence fills the room. The audience members settle back into their seats. They wait in anticipation until the bright lights illuminate the stage and actors file onto the stage. The show begins.
The weekend of May 12, the advanced acting class will be performing the May play. This year for the first time, the entire class will be in one play rather than split into separate casts. In addition, this year the plays are student-written, but will still be a comedic scene night like in past years, senior Caroline Dunlap said.
“We’re doing a whole bunch of different student-written and directed scenes and personal stories in three acts with the themes of family, friendships and relationships, and religion,” senior Daniel Weekes said.
The original prompt for ideas for the main play was ‘What do you think of when you think of theater.’ The class is trying to use formats that are unusual in theater, junior Andrew Hansen said.
In class, small groups are randomly assigned and given a theme or word to work from. The groups then have a short period of time to come up with something, and perform it. The class is picking out what worked from those small scenes to try to come up with larger ideas for the play, Dunlap said.
“I kind of rolled my eyes actually, I told [acting teacher Kim Taylor] this when she first said this because I was like, ‘Wow, this is busywork. I feel like we’re not going to come up with good stuff’, but we’ve actually come up with stuff,” Hansen said. “We are cooking into a bigger show.”
For other plays this year, the cast members auditioned and were cast for each part by Taylor, but for the May play, the actors get to choose their scenes and who they will perform with, Weekes said.
“I enjoy working in front of the entire class because obviously in [Sense and Sensibility] I just had my cast, which was a great cast, but it’s nice to all be working together as a group,” Hansen said.
This way actors get to work with people they have not worked with in the past.
“Something we don’t really ever get to do in acting is spend time with everyone because we are kind of in our own casts and doing our own prep work for our shows, so now that all of those plays are done we get to have fun with whatever we want to have fun with,” Weekes said.