SOAPS make a splash!

Senior One-Act Plays showcase senior talent

Promotional+poster+for+the+annual+senior+one-act+plays.+The+drama+department+presented+five+shows+directed+by+their+seven+seniors.+%E2%80%9CSenior+shows+just+give+all+of+our+seniors+the+opportunity+to+kind+of+explore+directing+and+move+on+from+being+in+these+high+school+productions+into+what+it+would+be+like+in+the+professional+world+and+kind+of+owning+up+to+that+leadership%2C%E2%80%9D+senior+Morgan+Burgess+said.

Photo via Instagram (@smhsthespians)

Promotional poster for the annual senior one-act plays. The drama department presented five shows directed by their seven seniors. “Senior shows just give all of our seniors the opportunity to kind of explore directing and move on from being in these high school productions into what it would be like in the professional world and kind of owning up to that leadership,” senior Morgan Burgess said.

For their annual senior one-act plays, the Starr’s Mill drama department showcased five shows directed by the seven seniors of the department. Senior shows are an opportunity for the seniors to take a directorial lead and use their talents on stage independently and freely.

“It’s almost a way to say goodbye to the department and give one last production that is something completely unique to each senior,” senior Morgan Burgess said.

 

“The Flat Soda” – Presented by Isabelle Medders

“The Flat Soda” is an original screenplay by senior Isabelle Medders. The script follows a manager and pop star on their first tour. However, something ends up happening to the pop star and the manager must scramble to find her replacement.

The original screenplay was written well and the musical number choices like “We’re All in This Together” from “High School Musical” added so much humor to the show. The script made the show feel like real conversations rather than “theater.” 

It’s almost a way to say goodbye to the department and give one last production that is something completely unique to each senior”

— senior Morgan Burgess

“I think we do [senior shows] because we get to try something new,” Medders said. “It’s not every day that an actor gets to be on the other side of the table and hold auditions, see what it’s like to be a director before we go into the real world.”

Everyone played their roles so well and, as they brought their own touch to their characters, they added another level of humor to “The Flat Soda.” Overall, the screenplay was wonderfully written and showcased Medder’s ability to place humor in the right spots.

“Something Rotten!” – Presented by Morgan Burgess

“Something Rotten!” is the story of two brothers who are writers during the Renaissance period who try and compete against Shakespeare. In their efforts, they consult a prophet and try to predict the future of writing and end up getting it all wrong.

While I have yet to see the full musical, each person played their character so well on stage and brought their character to life. Through subtle movements and even the way the actors delivered their lines, “Something Rotten!” allowed audiences to laugh and enjoy the show.

“It’s kind of like your first little introduction to not having everything laid out for you,” Burgess said. “So it’s discovering what show you want to do, the casting decisions, and just learning how to stay true to your idea while being a fair leader to others.”

One of my favorite parts was when the prophet, played by senior Henry Ravita, comes on stage and tells one of the brothers, played by junior Jacob Love, about musicals. The brother thinks it is crazy and that there is no way people would enjoy a song and dance number in the middle of a play, when all of a sudden, he breaks into song and dance singing about how people will not like the idea of musicals.

I think we do [senior shows] as a way to bond as a group and to allow the seniors who have been doing so many years of acting to try something different and take a leadership role”

— senior Chloe Millsapps

This added irony made the whole show even more hilarious and was done extremely well with the help of each actor’s movements and deliverance of their lines. 

Excerpts from “Waitress” – Presented by Chloe Millsapps and Katlin Minter

“Waitress” follows a woman who gets unexpectedly pregnant in the midst of an abusive relationship. After entering a pie contest, she starts a new life for herself. The excerpts that senior directors Chloe Millsapps and Katlin Minter chose, followed the woman and her coworkers discussing their home lives and their dream lives.

While the show was shorter than the others, it was enjoyable and had a great balance of subtle humor while staying true to the heart of the story. The relationship between the owner of the diner and one of his waitresses held up the subtle humor and added a much-needed air of lightness.

“I think we do [senior shows] as a way to bond as a group and to allow the seniors who have been doing so many years of acting to try something different and take a leadership role,” Millsapps said.

One of my favorite scenes in the show was the old man sitting down at the diner, played by junior Kyan Pepper. While he did not add much to the storyline, he was a fantastic addition of humor.

Excerpts from “The Last Five Years” – Presented by Olivia Price

“The Last Five Years” is set in New York and follows Cathy, a struggling actress, and Jamie, a successful writer singing about their failed marriage from two different perspectives.

The show was brought to life through the actors and what they brought to their characters and showcased everyone’s talents onstage. While there were only two actors total, junior Aleena Soto playing the actress and junior Evan Lacey playing the writer, they did an incredible job of conveying the sadness that comes with a failed marriage.

“People do say that seniors are the ones that people look up to and I think that’s kinda what senior shows are,” David said. “The people that you look up to in your junior, sophomore, freshman year are there to guide you into a show that they love.”

The show started off with the audience choosing the characters’ names and it ended up being completely ridiculous. ”

— Editor Joslyn Weber

Soto had an incredible singing voice and played her character well. The audience could feel Cathy’s anger toward Jamie and her sadness towards their terrible relationship. Lacey had an amazing singing voice as well and brought his character to life, accurately portraying Jamie’s manipulation of Cathy.

“The Trail to Oregon” – Presented by Mary Davis and Addie Ellison

“The Trail to Oregon” is based on the video game “The Oregon Trail” and includes a ton of audience participation. The show started off with the audience choosing the characters’ names and it ended up being completely ridiculous. 

“It’s definitely a big milestone for me, especially since I’ve been doing theater since I started high school so it feels good to be able to get to this point,” Davis said.

Each actor was perfectly chosen for their role and brought the humor to a new level that had the audience laughing at every scene. The whole show was completely off the cuff and majority audience-led. The pacing of each scene was quick but also had awkward silences which made it ten times better. Every small detail included by Davis and Ellison added to the show’s humor in an incredible way.

I was so immersed in the hilariousness that I could not even take notes. The dialogue was extremely well written and every scene had me dying of laughter. 

“It’s teaching me [how to figure] out what I want in a show,” Davis said. “Whether that’s me telling people what I want in a leadership role or me telling people what I want as an actor.”

 

Overall, the senior one-act plays were successful and showcased the senior’s many talents on stage and through the script. Shuler nominations took place recently, with three nominations and two honorable mentions from their performance of “Pippin.” 

The Starr’s Mill drama department was nominated for Best Ensemble, Best Lighting Design, and Best Supporting Performer by Olivia Price. The department’s two honorable mentions were in Scenic Design and Technical Execution.

Shuler competitions will take place this Thursday at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. It will also be televised on Georgia Public Broadcasting at 8 p.m.