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One-Acts Review Part One

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One-Acts Review Part One

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Anxiety is Orange by Lindsay Price is a heartwarming collection of skits, each focused on a different color and how it can affect mood. Junior Courtney Peterson beautifully directed the short play. This was her first time directing a one act, but her inexperience did not stop her from putting on a great show.

Unlike a traditional play, Anxiety is Orange did not have a set storyline or a main character. Instead, each color of the rainbow was portrayed as an individual character in a series of short skits. This could’ve made acting difficult, as each scene was only a few minutes at most, but the actors pulled it off admirably. They were able to express a distinctive mood for each color: orange for anxiety, grey for depressed, etc. Sometimes the colors were portrayed by not just one person, but multiple people. For example, Linnea Hietala, Jane Jensen, and Ella McClellan played three friends in the skit for orange. One friend had a brother who was “allergic to orange.” Although the brother was never shown, the three actors were able to create an air of anxiety and chaos over the mere thought of him seeing an orange skirt.

Together, these fused short scenes formed a heartwarming motif of color and comradery; they left the audience thinking about what colors mean to them. Is anxiety orange? Can colors really affect mood? These intriguing concepts made for a lovely, thought-provoking performance.

 

The Fruitcake by Dwayne Yancey was directed by sophomore Sylvia LaGalbo. This ridiculously funny comedy really shone as placed between the other two, more serious plays. This was also LaGalbo’s first time directing a one act, and she did a brilliant job.

The play takes place in a family living room during Christmas. The characters are all forced to spend time together, and they have nothing in common, except a universal distaste for their aunt’s annual holiday fruitcake.

The actors’ dedication to each of their individual characters jumped out in this short play. Each character was funny and unique on their own, but the actors played off of each others lines to make the show exceptional. Between Grandpa (Bryden Murphy) yelling crazy lines about his deceased wife Margaret, and Uncle Fred’s (Linnea Hietala) rolling laugh and faux beer gut, the family represented the perfect hilariously stereotypical family at Christmas time. Gabriella Tzougros gave off the perfect frantic energy as she ran back and forth across stage, trailing strings of Christmas lights behind her. Makenna Cooley played an awkward boyfriend whose confusion mirrored the audience’s. Each actor clearly put a lot of thought into their characters’ thoughts and motives.

Together, the comedic lines combined with the over the top costumes and the actor’s hilarious character voices made this play a great success. The audience was rolling with laughter almost the entire time. This lighter-hearted one act and gave them a comedic break before the last, much heavier performance.

 

Shape of the Grave by Laura Lundgren Smith was directed by Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance’s very own theater mentor, Ms. Kean. The historical fiction play is set in Northern Ireland and takes place during Ireland’s fight for independence from Britain.

The main character, (Colleen) played by Megan Paschke, is an orphan with a fiery personality. Only her older sister, (Brigid) played by Carmen Castello, is left to take care of her. While her sister wants peace, Colleen is angry and wants justice. In this heart-wrenching play, Colleen must choose whether to listen to her own conscience or her sister’s sage advice.

Between the incredibly serious subject matter, the rollercoaster of emotions, and the dialect, there were many formidable challenges for the actors to face. The dialect was perhaps the most obvious difficulty, but the actors stayed true to their characters and kept their accents going strong throughout the show.

Megan Paschke portrayed the dynamics of her character exceedingly well. She seamlessly bounced between grief, rage, fear, uncertainty, and joy. Her stunning performance pulled the audience into the storyline, and had them weeping by the end of it.

This powerful show gave audience members a lot to think about; it questioned the line between right and wrong. The actors showed incredible commitment and put on a beautiful performance that shook audience members to their cores.

~~~

The cast of Shape of the Grave went on to perform their show at the Wisconsin State High School Theatre Festival on November 16th and 17th. Megan Paschke won Outstanding Lead Actor for her part as Colleen, Gabriella Tzougros and Nolan Van Haren each won Outstanding Supporting Actor for their roles as Claire and Covey, respectively. The entire cast won an Outstanding Ensemble award. These awards were well-deserved and a testament to their dedication.

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One-Acts Review Part One