Celebrating their twelfth annual performance, the Roosevelt Drama 3 class premiered four original plays, all written and acted by RHS students. With assistance from Ruben VanKempen, Beth Orme, and Scott Koh, four aspiring playwrights took on the monumental task of writing their own one act plays. During their writing and directing, these students learned how a play evolves around its actors, and how to accept differences in their ideas in order to better the quality of the play as a whole.
Subjects varied from contemporary issues regarding online identity, to traditional concepts of family conflict. Despite the sometimes serious themes, all plays lightened the mood with humor, the proposed theme for this year’s plays.
Actors and their playwrights showed their collaboration during the Q&A at the end of the festival. Writers expressed how pleased they were with their cast, and how much their actors helped them make the play more fluid. “I had seven rewrites,” admitted Ella Sevier, author of Logging On, thanks to her actors constantly doing readings of the script and recommending changes. When asked where they like to write, Henri Joyce Fitzmaurice, writer of The Last Straw, remembered, “I spent four or five hours at a coffee shop.” Not many high school students could even imagine working on a single story for five hours straight, let alone the countless hours of rehearsal and revision following their rough draft.
The four plays were:
For a Minute by Elliot Moore: a coffee shop barista falls for a regular customer, who already has a boyfriend. Does he get the girl? Hilarity ensues as the two fight over the girl.
The Last Straw by Henri Joyce Fitzmaurice: A daughter loses contact with her father when a severe storm hits. Stuck inside with a friend, she is convinced that her deadbeat dad no longer cares about her. A call comes from the police about her dad, and the audience is left wondering what happened to him.
Logging On by Ella Sevier: a nerdy boy on the west coast and a quirky girl on the east coast are chatting online. Both exaggerate their true identity, but never blatantly lie. Trust issues ensue when the boy requests to meet the girl on this trip to the east coast, and the two attempt to resolve their differences through a video call.
Just My Luck by Anna Given: A boy gets stuck in a fence when a green haired, hooded girl walks past, lost. She cannot free him, but stays to talk, revealing that she has run away from home. Eventually the boy is freed from the fence, but not until he, his sister, and the mysterious girl reconcile.