As the school year comes to an end, the New Players Company is going out with a bang. The Festival for Student Written One Acts is the company’s last production of the school year, and the program consists of seven student writers, five student directors, and around forty student actors. The production relies on the company’s creative spirit, and is one of the most unique New Players experiences. Similarly to New Players in Concert, this program also encourages students who don’t consider themselves to be “full-fledged Newps” to participate in the festival.
Once they are accepted into One Acts, writers immediately begin to meet with Mrs. Vilardi to schedule future readings and critiques with the other playwrights. In these meetings, students help edit and perfect each other’s work. After the writers finish critiquing each other, Mrs. Vilardi then offers her opinion on how to alter the direction of each play, as well as giving insight she has gained from working in the industry. She is crucial to the success of each play a fantastic leader of the club. The playwrights have around five to six of these meetings, which lead up to their trip to The Producers’ Club in New York City. At The Producers’ Club, the writers have their scripts read in a staged reading by professional actors and critiqued by a professional playwright. Other students involved with New Players also attend the trip and act as an audience for the readings.The addition of the student audience is extremely helpful to the writers because it allows them to see how the audience reacts at certain points of the play. Especially for the comedic writers, it offers the chance to carefully gauge where the audience laughs and where jokes fall flat.
After the NYC trip, the writers have one last opportunity to edit their scripts before they are sent to the One Act Festival directors, who then cast and produce the show using student actors.
This program offers many amazing opportunities, and any aspiring writers are greatly encouraged to apply next year. Before applying, prospective playwrights should consider some tips. The One Acts application consists of one form with basic information and a completed first draft of the play. When writing the play, it is wise to do some research about exactly what a one act is, in terms of length and plot, and how to format a play. Applicants should also read their completed draft aloud several times to see if their character’s “voices” can be heard within their writing.
One Acts is an experience that is completely unique to RHS. It offers playwrights professional experience, and it very rewarding to be involved.
Below are brief descriptions of the shows included in the festival.
“Road Trip” written by Jack Mathey: A family of 4 preparing for a road trip to their grandparents. Only the mom is interested in going.
“Cat Burglar” written by Thomas Husband: A married couple receive a visit from a woman who steals cats.
“La Tazza Piena” written by Kayla Kirk: The story takes place in a restaurant on a night where a notorious yelp reviewer decides to dine. A plunger becomes stuck in the toilet of the women’s bathroom.
“The Session” written by Sara Cantor: A married couple attend a therapy session lead by a doctor who believes she can solve their marital problems with a dose of her “serum”.
“Snip!” written by CJ Jerkovich: Three haircuts.
“Poetry Honors” written by Wes Dunn: Takes place in Poetry Honors class lead by a teacher with an obsession for a certain bearded author…
“Mail Court” written by Cormac Bohan: Three mailmen are accused of stealing a client’s mail, and are sent to “Mail Court”.
“AA” written by Cormac Bohan: Various failed actors and actresses express their woes in an “Actor’s Anonymous” meeting.