By Reagan Boice
The annual Student Directed One Acts of Theatre 370 returned to Holliston High School on February 8 and 9.
What makes the SDOA so special, though, is the fact that the students of HHS themselves get the chance to direct their skits.
“Everyone must submit a script, they have to also submit a director’s book that has a bit of a questionnaire . . . we always want to make sure we have . . . a varied evening,” said Ms. Courtney Bottomley, the drama director and advisor for Theatre 370 about how the student directors are chosen.
The skits used in the One Acts may be originals or they may be scripts found off the internet that the directors bought the rights to. This year’s One Acts included three original shows and three pre-written shows.
“You create characters and then you can match them up with people in your real life which is so cool,” said junior Olivia Skerry about the writing experience.
The plays included; “These Walls of White” written and directed by Olivia Skerry; “Wombmates” written and directed by Julia Giusti-Kizik “A High School English Classroom” written and directed by Katie North, “The Last Man on Earth” directed by Laura Keen, “The Game of Life” directed by Daniel Slade, and “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” directed by Lindsay Hecker.
Skerry’s play “focused on young people who were basically kidnapped and put into a white room, and it was how they interacted with each other, with a new person who was coming in among them and how to overcome their circumstances,” said Ms. Bottomley.
“Wombmates” focused on a different type of interaction than Skerry’s play.
“It takes place in three different wombs of three different women and the play focused on the relationships of twins in the wombs,” said Ms. Bottomley about Giusti-Kizik’s play.
The student directors have a chance to choose their own actors (sometimes their close friends) to act in their shows.
“It’s kinda hard at first just because you need to establish a relationship of being professional but also you still want them to be your friends after rehearsal’s over,” said Skerry.
When she wasn’t “spray[ing] them with a spray bottle” for not paying attention, Skerry said her actors “brought the characters to life.”
The actors of the SDOA have also had a unique experience being directed by one of their friends.
“It’s more personalized and I feel like it also helped with bonding with the cast and the director himself,” said freshman Emmet O’Leary starring in his first SDOA. “It gave different opportunities for the actors than . . . when we did the musical or other productions.”
According to Ms. Bottomley, the play Emmet O’Leary starred in, “The Game of Life,” “was about a young man who was trying to live by somebody else’s rulebook essentially of how to be successful.”
Ms. Bottomley also described the other plays that happened in the SDOA.
“I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” directed by Lindsay Hecker, “was about a particular holocaust survivor. It was based on a true story and one woman’s survival as she was a young teenager in Terezin,” said Ms. Bottomley.
“The Last Man on Earth,” directed by Laura Keen, was “a post-apocalyptic play where you kind of find out that your crushes from high school sometimes those feelings never end even when the world is ending,” said Ms. Bottomley.
The last play of the night, written and directed by Katie North, a senior at HHS, was her senior project and Ms. Bottomley advised her as she went about the writing process.
“It was basically just depicting and enhancing different stereotypes of the interactions that she observed in some of her high school classes,” said Ms. Bottomley.
As this year’s SDOA came to an end, the actors and directors reminisced on how the whole process has affected them and what they look forward to in the coming years
“Coming in as a freshman, I didn’t really have a preexisting opinion on it, but I mean I thought it went really well,” said O’Leary, “ [I] would do it again 100%.”