The one-act play this year is called “Bad Auditions by Bad Actors,” by Ian McWethy, which is being directed by Senior Aparajita Kashyap.
“A one-act play is a play in one act, it is shorter and has no intermission, and it’s less complicated to put on,” she said.
The one-act will be performed before the cabaret on Friday, May 18, in the Black Box. It is a tradition for seniors to direct a one-act in the spring after the musical and fall play. Shelby Fairchild ’17, wrote one during the summer and directed it last year. “Mr. Millen has a whole bunch of plays and scripts in his office, and I dug through those, and then I tried to find something that I liked; then I looked online, and I saw this one, and I picked it,” Aparajita said. “First of all, because you don’t need a super big cast and also because all of the scenes have fewer people in them, which will make it easier for me to schedule rehearsals and stuff.”
The one-act does not take the place of athletic requirements and is considered an extracurricular activity, unlike the fall play or the musical. It’s not something that the theater department at KO takes charge of; it’s something that the students have to take on themselves.
There are eight actors in the play, and six of them have multiple roles. “I think that it is really great that there are all these big characters, and it really gives the actors the chance to inhabit these larger-than-life characters and play with that a lot, so I think that is fun,” Aparajita said.
Aparajita had students audition by reading the monologue in the style of the character for whom they were auditioning.
Aparajita said she believes that the cast is a very talented one and that the students are excited for their parts, so she thinks that the play will go well. “It’s my first time directing, so I don’t really know what I am doing, but I hope it goes well,” she said.
Junior Elise Gendrich is also part of the one-act play, and she has the roles of two characters, Melissa and Meg. These two individuals are both bad actors and are confused as to how to improve. Elise had a small role in the play last year but has taken on a more significant role this year. “I figured that I would support [Apara] by being in her play, and it seemed funny and I thought it would be a good part,” she said.
Elise has been part of the musical for the past three years ,and she acted in plays throughout elementary and middle school. Elise said she likes the idea of having essentially each scene be a separate scene that are funny in their own way. “Mostly everyone plays multiple roles, which is fun because we get more diverse acting opportunities,” she said.
The one-act will take place the same night as the cabaret. The cabaret will feature many songs from different musicals that all share the common theme of “connection,” along with some acting and costumes.
Senior Ellie Bavier is running the cabaret this year and she was part of the first carabert which was run last last year by Conor O’Loughlin ’17. There are 22 people in this year’s cabaret and they are performing 14 songs compared to the 10 last year, which Ellie said she believes is a little ambitious.
“We are following with Mr. Langameyer’s theme for the first half of the year, which was ‘connection,’ and that’s why he chose ‘Spelling Bee,’” she said. “Honestly we chose [the theme] because we were first looking at songs we wanted to do, I knew that I wanted to feature certain people, based on what I saw from them at the musical and I really just wanted to do a couple songs.”
The cabaret is adding more people, four more songs, costumes, props, and a pit, which Ellie says is the biggest thing. “I knew I wanted a big cast; we have 22 people in it. It is a lot to try to manage, especially when we have big ensemble numbers; it’s kind of hard to get everyone to settle down and not get distracted, and sometimes I have to take a harder leadership role,” she said. “I think it is going to be great. I mean adding the numbers is always fun, especially with the pit. Pits are loud, so that means that it is good that we have voices that can fill that to counter.”
The pit will consist of six students, all of whom will play different instruments: senior David Marottolo on piano, freshman Prairwaa Madden on violin, junior Calvin Beck on bass, junior Andrew Holland on drums, senior Alicia Henry on flute, and senior Jacob Kulak on guitar.
The pit of the cabaret is similar to the pit in the musical, and it will also consist of a rhythm section, according to David. All the songs in the performance will be performed entirely by students.
“I’m looking forward [to] it; it is a nice collection of song and were nicely chosen by Ellie,” David said. “Also everyone is very talented and also Ellie is doing a nice job with directing, so I feel like it is coming along strongly. I think the pit is very important because with cabaret, it is different than a musical and the acting is very minimum, and it is all about the music, so the singers having support from the pit is very important.”