Senior One-Acts Come Roaring Back To The Stage

Four plays were managed by five senior directors


Sruthi Ramesh

Aicha Beye (left) and Paige Bostic (right) starring as the title roles in “The Seussification of Romeo & Juliet.”

Gavin Block, Reporter

After almost three years since its inaugural occurrence, Liberty’s senior directed one-acts once again took the stage. Auditions were held on March 16-17, and the plays were finally presented on April 28-29.

Thursday and Friday’s performances featured four plays entirely managed by five senior directors. They were split into two sections, accompanied by brief intermissions between each show: “One Mingled in Entwining Love” written and directed by Jackson Martin and a production of “A Murdered Mystery” directed by Amanda Yoder were performed in part one; “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” overseen by Cleopatra Mozolewski and “The Seussification of Romeo & Juliet” co-directed by Brynn Bartram and Sean Bruce were performed in the latter part.

“One Mingled in Entwining Love” sees Martin take a novel approach to how previous senior one-acts had been done. A considerably dramatic piece, it entails the story of an American family and associated individuals during the Vietnam War. They progressively crumble as love, aspirations, and tragedy build onto the pressures of life they are already bearing. The narrative purportedly acts as a semi-musical as it included a poignant rendition of “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” by sophomore Anna Simms (Samantha Kreisler) and Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 gracefully providing the instrumental background.

Junior Jax Drezek played Kurt Miller, an integral male lead who suffers the atrocities of combat and returns while everyone believes him to be dead. Drezek remarked that assuming his role was not too difficult for him since he found many similar personality traits. Participating in theatre is a new experience for him, yet he says he was glad to have entered into an unanticipated activity for the first time.

“I do a lot of sports; I don’t normally do much of things like theatre,” stated Drezek. “It’s outside of what I expect myself to be doing, hence why I was very intrigued about it once I really started getting into it.”

Drezek also mentioned that when he would get nervous a little before coming up for his queue, he put this agitated energy into his performance, and later discovered that this method had become very beneficial for conveying the story.

“I realized I was being a part of that entertainment and making people interested and provoking discussion,” Drezek expressed. “I was able to entertain people and make them stop thinking about the real world for a while; I made them interested in the story.”

(From left to right) Morgan Feinstein, Connor Higlen and Arely Perez-Gomez performing in “A Murdered Mystery.” (Liz Hayes)

The mood was almost immediately lightened with “A Murdered Mystery.” We are introduced to John, the butler, who appears to have killed Steve Walters. He assures us this is not the case, transporting us three hours earlier. Steve and the other suspects are found out to be a quarreling, selfish, and ludicrous bunch who comically struggle to competently exhibit their show. The play only continues to grow with debacles and misunderstandings, resulting in the murdered mystery.

“The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” involves two narrators along with multiple actors attempting to recreate all 209 tales by the famous author duo, though not in the most scrupulous manner. Ranging from Rumpelstiltskin to Rapunzel to Hansel & Gretel, the play is filled with clever slapstick, pop culture references, audience involvement and poking fun at typical folktale tropes. The wide variety of characters and subtle quips frequently generate hearted laughter from the crowd.

“The Seussification of Romeo & Juliet,” as one would expect, takes the zany stylistic and linguistic distinctions of the Dr. Seuss books and applies them to one of William Shakespeare’s most acclaimed romantic tragedies. Tending to satire both literary properties, this is staged quite creatively to allow for quick entrances and exits along with colorful and inventive live renderings. The onlookers could not get enough of the “Monotones” and “Capitulates” nor the seussified features adjusted with a modern attitude. The jocose rhymes and delightful deliveries from the actors in the spectacle felt appropriate to eventually conclude the nights’ performances.

Theatre director Mrs. Gehrke witnessed the performers and directors realizing their respective plays in a short amount of time.

“The directors and actors had a little less than a month to make this happen, and they pulled it off,” Gehrke observed. She hopes the directors found the experience to be challenging and rewarding, saying, “These directors really got a crash course in production. I know that I watched all of them persevere, work through difficulties, and thenthe best part—I got to see their faces and joy when the audience applauded at the end of the shows; I’m very proud of them.”

The second annual senior one-acts this year did not fail to bring laughter, exuberance, premonition and merriment to its attendees. After such a heavy and solemn past couple of years, the theatre department has brought back a sense of community and cohesion like nothing else. This will be an unforgettable season for the seniors especially, who have guided, cooperated and flourished in their high school theatre careers. With this season’s one-acts, these students excellently and ultimately signified the electrifying revitalization of Liberty Performing Arts.

Cast (* denotes member of Troupe #8211)

“One Mingled in Entwining Love” directed by Jackson Martin*: Alix Queen, Morgan Feinstein*, Payton Busselman*, Anna Fleetwood, Jax Drezek, Shane Wolz*, Anna Simms, Amanda Speciale*, Max Grant

“A Murdered Mystery” directed by Amanda Yoder*: Shane Wolz*, Mason Putzler, Audrey Keller, Arely Perez-Gomez, Morgan Feinstein*, Connor Higlen*

“The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” directed by Cleopatra Mozolewski*: Elizabeth Hamby, Max Grant, Jared Houston, Taylor Koehnemann, Alijah Riles, Rylee Shipes, Amanda Speciale*

“The Seussification of Romeo & Juliet” directed by Brynn Bartram* & Sean Bruce*: Aicha Beye*, Paige Bostic*, Madeline Claravall*, Kimberly Guzman, Kenny Henk, Connor Higlen*, Logan Honerkamp, Logan Jorden, Kennedy LeMaster, Mackenzie Reddick, Owen Robinson, Connor Smith, Elaine Thimyan*


Missy Gehrke & Matthew Eversole (staff supervisors), Rhett Cunningham* (student technical supervisor), Rachel Church (light board operator), Reed Morrison (sound board operator), Maddie Tiemann & Tessa Wilson (stage crew)