On April 21, Mt. Hebron introduced its very first “Night of One Acts.” The event began at 7 pm in the auditorium, where greeters stationed at the door welcomed the audience for an unexpected surprise.
Junior Gracie Dillon opened the night by sharing short remarks with the crowd. She introduced herself, the president of the International Thespian Society, and Drama teacher Ms. Sam Duvall, the group’s sponsor. Dillon let the audience know the plans for the night — three separate acts all written and directed by Mt. Hebron students.
“It’s an honor society for students involved in the theatrical arts in high school, so it does not need to be actors only. There are crew members that are apart of it,” explained Ms. Duvall about the International Thespian Society.
“I do a lot of theatre outside of school, and talking to my peers in those programs about theatre at their schools really surprised me because it’s so involved with a lot of opportunity. Our goal is to create a larger theatre department with more diverse programs,” said Dillon, who explained her reasons for bringing the chapter to Mt. Hebron.
The show began with an act called “The Undercurrent,” featuring a character named Cillian, an aspiring writer of post World War II played by junior Kevin Nolan. He struggles to finish his piece of writing and looks wondrously for some sort of muse. Luckily, he meets a witty and charming young woman named Elizabeth, played by Gracie Dillon, who brings a new way of life. Cillian fights with his conscience before truly coming to terms with his book. Like many other love stories, the two were destined to break apart. But the storyline came to a close with Cillian having finished his writing and their connection rekindling. The two end up departing together.
“I loved that act,” said sophomore Gretta Zinski. “It was emotion-filled and entertaining. I was impressed by how the actors were able to portray the characters and the feelings of the story, which is a hard thing to do for younger and less experienced actors.”
After a five-minute intermission, the night continued with “Scared to Death: A Farce,” which takes place during the late 1800s. Incorporating a cast of characters with wealth, the plot revolved around the confusing connection between Edward, played by sophomore Nick Jackson, Frederick, played by freshman Jake Scarbath, and Katherine, played by sophomore Claire Segala. Though the plot behind this act was rather complex to follow, it became clear that it was meant to conjure laughter. A surprise was definitely the unexpected “death” of Katherine and the process of disguising her body. The crowd was laughing more and more with every scene.
Finally, the night came to a close with “The Death of Doctor Lamprey.” This play focused on the life of the less fortunate in Russia, including a plot twist just minutes into the play. Featuring the persuasive “demoness” Doctor Lamprey, played by senior Alyssa Matanin, the play followed the difficulty between Anton, played by junior Rory Nolan, and Boris, played by senior Daniel Offenbacher.
The “Night of One Acts” was a bonafide success full of laughter and suspense. The event was truly a magnificent showcase of Mt. Hebron’s students and the theatre program.