By Margaret Downing ‘19
The One Acts Festival is a series of short, student-directed, one-act plays that are presented in NCS’s Lower School assembly room every spring. This year, our wonderful directors each directed their own short and hilarious plays ranging from 5 to 25 minutes each, with casts of students ranging from seasoned thespians to first-time actors. This also marks the first time that the acting assistant stage manager of the school year (in this case, me) starts calling sound and light cues, while the other assistant stage manager, Hadley Pade ‘20, gets an idea of what it will be like backstage alone. (Notice: Hadley Pade is not “deck crew” or someone who “helps with stuff backstage,” contrary to popular belief). One Acts is a time for students to try their hand at something new, either on or off stage, and for one last low-key performance before the school year wraps up.
Dating isn’t always fun, especially when your date is social-media-obsessed, a fake linguist, or the star of TLC’s Sister Wives. Check Please: Take 2, directed by Jake Duffy ‘18, follows “Guy” and “Girl” on a series of dates ranging from awkward, to horrible. This hilarious series of failed first dates couldn’t have done a better job starting off the festival.
Squad Goals, directed by Katharine Boasberg ‘18, follows the two crazy coaches of a non-traditional basketball team as they search for the perfect new team member: one who has heart, can pose for posters, that no one believes in, plays through an injury, gives an inspirational halftime speech, has a tragic backstory, plays in slow motion, and… is a dog? Coach Weebly is hilariously infatuated with narcissistic Coach Morrison as they continuously reject player after player. Will they ever find a 5th team member? (Spoiler: they do).
The Working Title, written and directed by Zack Martin ‘18 is a satire of the theater, as the inexperienced director and playwright struggles to keep his fed-up actors from abandoning his efforts to put on his horrible play with “no plot or direction.” Atrocious directing, crazy costumes, and almost-too-awkward pauses fill Zack’s original play, as the director frantically attempts keep the show as tightly as his Lululemon leggings.
The Restaurant Sketch, directed by Jonathan Rufino ‘18, is a short, but sweet, play, lasting only 5 minutes, that follows a couple into a nice restaurant—three stars—with one complication: a dirty fork. After hell breaks loose, all I can say is: it’s a good thing they didn’t mention the dirty knife.
Break-ups suck, but what's worse is the timeless excuse: It’s Not You, It’s Me. Mady Jones ‘18 directed this ridiculous series of break-ups that were both guiltily hilarious and cringe-worthy. Whether the real reason is that your significant other can see into your miserable future, is a pathological liar, got a tattoo of your full name, or isn’t as funny as Preston, you’ll be glad that it isn’t you on the receiving end.
Romeo and Juliet is a classic play, and almost impossible to mess up, unless you have a series of ridiculously Bad Auditions By Bad Actors (directed by Anna Youngkin ‘18). A casting director and her assistant struggle to come up with a actors for the roles of Romeo and Juliet. They see auditions from an actress with an inTEnSE acTiNG coACh, a hypermasculine guy who “just picked up a script,” a woman who just doesn’t know what to do with her hands, a method actor taking it to the extreme, and guy who just really likes the DiCaprio version. Who knew that the casting process could be so hard?