One-Act takes the (competitive) stage

Dedeepya Guthikonda, page editor

The theater program at Edina High School is well-known for its often sold-out seasonal productions. After a successful run of “Matilda” this fall, they are now working towards their spring production, “Into the Woods”. However, during the hiatus between these two shows, there’s a unique, collaborative program for the cast. The One-Act Play program at EHS, consisting of three different plays this year, is part of the high-school One Act Play Festival in Minnesota. 

 The One-Act is different in the sense that participants get an hour to set up the show, perform, and take it down. Additionally, they are in charge of writing their own scripts and improvising. As senior and second-year participant Brendan Polomis explains, their play “The Group”, involved a little of both. “The premise is a group therapy session that is the subject of a documentary,” Polomis said. Additionally, the show has multimedia aspects. “During the stories the patients are telling, they’re filmed, and a projection of what is being filmed is showed up on the screen. This means that we have the opportunity to play around with different camera tricks,” Polomis said. 

While Polomis has always been actively involved in theater (he played the Trunchbull in “Matilda” earlier this year), One Act draws those who aren’t as actively involved in theater as well, such as junior Leo Hickey.

 “Usually I just do the One Act because I like the competitive aspect of it,” Hickey said. “The idea that you are performing the play in front of judges is intriguing.” 

However, despite the competition, the crew decided to take a relaxed approach this year. “We had this idea that we were going to write it and go with the flow,” Hickey said. “We knew something would come out of it.” While the competitive aspect can seem stressful, the team is able to find the perfect balance. 

Both Polomis and Hickey explain their favorite parts of their plays as the people, their fellow cast, consisting of 15-18 members. “There is significantly more of that community element to it because they’re not just words that we’re performing,” Polomis said. “We’re growing closer to the cast because we needed to share those intimate details with each other.” 

The One Act play allows thespians to be in a different environment while still having a fun time with the cast and trying out a different sort of acting, without a final script. After a successful run at subsections, the team advanced to sections this season. “ I think we had a pretty good run- for many people, this was a completely new experience, and I’m glad I was able to put forth such a unique show for competition,” Polomis said.