On the evening of Friday, May 17, students, family, friends, and faculty gathered together in Black Box Theatre to enjoy a comfy and entertaining night full of singing, acting, and fun: the One Act was directed by senior Janvi Sikand while the Cabaret was led by seniors Olivia Coxon, Charlie Coxon, Emma Kate Johansen, Katherine Brough, and Dan Carroll.
Members of the One Act included senior Elise Gendrich, juniors Elan Stadelman and Vishal Kumar, sophomores Snehaa Ram, Molly Carroll, and Braeden Rose, and freshmen Samhita Kashyap, Elsa June, and Teddy Schwartz. Other students that were part of the Cabaret were: Elan, Braeden, Snehaa, Molly, juniors Remy McCoy and Maggie Eberle, and sophomore Sadie Margolis.
In order to become part of the One Act and Cabaret, the seniors in charge sent out a form at the beginning of the spring to all students, saying that anyone who wanted to sign up was more than welcome to. While students had been encouraged to do both the One Act and Cabaret, some opted to play to their strengths or realized they have limited time and did whichever one they prefer.
Essentially, the Cabaret is a collective showcase performance of students singing songs from different musicals. However, while the Cabaret is usually led by one senior, this year the responsibilities had been split among five in order to allow for a greater in-depth understanding of the music, more precise attention to detail, and less pressure on everyone’s shoulders.
Dan said he was very excited about the Cabaret and happy to have worked with the people he did. “We had a great group come together,” he said. “There was also a strong coming-of-age theme that weaved throughout most of the songs.” On the other hand, the One Act is, of course, a one-act play traditionally directed each spring by one senior, this year’s being Janvi who actually wrote the play herself.
“This year the One Act is a show I wrote and submitted last winter as a junior,” she said. “It’s a surreal comedy called ‘Meet Me at the Monument!’ and has many different plotlines all connected by a monument at 420 Pride Street.”
The interweaving, complex storylines are generally as follows: Randy and Andy, portrayed by Vishal and Teddy, are police officers planning on surprise proposing each other on the same day, but they both don’t know what the other is planning. Next, Reshma and Chad, played by Samhita and Charlie, have just come back to life after being dead. They had been best friends in life and in death and set out on a quest to avenge Reshma’s dad, who shot and killed her. Preston, played by Elan, is Reshma’s dad who decided to shoot his daughter for clout, since he is also a middle-aged bank manager who wants to become a SoundCloud rapper.
Next, God (Elise) came into the story and is having a conversation with a guy named Jonathan (Braeden), attempting to give Her friend on Earth advice. Then, the audience is introduced to a character named Julia, portrayed by Snehaa, who dropped out of Miss Teen USA to pursue her dream of being a female detective. The final main plotline included Becky and Jaden, two workers at a bakery played by Elsa June and Molly; Jaden attempts to convince her frenemy Becky to not be the homophobic person she is.
Snehaa, involved with both the One Act and Cabaret, said that this was her second year being part of the student-led production and decided to sign up again because she enjoyed it so much last year. “My prefect, Ellie Bavier, was part of it and I was already really into music and art, so I decided to join as well,” she said. “I liked it so much I came back this year, and I’m happy I did.”
For the One Act, Snehaa said a lot of rehearsal time was actually spent individually at first and only after everyone had learned their lines did the cast come together wherever they could to practice. The Cabaret rehearsals obviously focused on singing and dancing, and thus were held in the dance studio and Black Box. Teddy said he decided to join the One Act after hearing about it from Samhita. “I have had a great time learning my lines, although it’s been a grind,” he said. “I think the play is funny and has a really interesting – I can’t wait to perform!”
His excitement seemed to extend to all other cast members, who shared similar thoughts and were extremely satisfied with their performance.
Maggie said she loved being part of the Cabaret.
“It was such a fun show, and all the seniors really rose to the occasion producing a great performance!” she said.
Snehaa said her final thoughts on the play would have to be positive, as she views it as a beneficial and immersive experience.
“Overall, this has brought me closer to everyone because everyone wants to be there and is invested in it,” she said.
“All the people that signed up for it are genuinely interested in and talented in the arts, so it’s nice to work with them.”