Students work together to put on the annual One Acts

The One Acts took place on Friday, 1/21 and Saturday, 1/22, displaying creativity and fantastic directing for all classes.

By Matt O'Connell

Parents and students shuffle into Huntley High School’s newly finished Black Box Theater, as the hum of anticipation hangs in the air. As the lights dim and the music silences, miniature performances, or One Acts, begin. Huntley High School offers many different areas of expression when it comes to acting, but the One Acts are something special.

The One Acts are short scenes entirely directed by students and performed by students. After only one month of preparation for the performances, students took to the stage to express themselves through their chosen act.
On Jan. 21 and 22, students were able to perform their scenes in front of an audience packed as tightly as the Black Box Theater would allow. From 7-10 p.m., the theater was full of laughs, tears, and gasps as students of all ages showcased their talents.

“The directors give us everything; all of the stage directions, the little nuances, it all comes from them. They have taught the performers everything they know,” junior RJ Gallano said.

The upperclassmen have learned how to direct near-perfect performances after countless hours of practice, mistakes, advice, success, and dedication to theater throughout the years of middle school and high school. Allowing students of all ages to create and perform scenes of their own is just one of the many reasons why the theater program at Huntley is so successful. Upperclassmen were able to translate their own beautiful, dark, twisted fantasies into reality. It is also great to see the upperclassmen take the underclassmen under their wing and develop them into great actors.

“For the younger students, the underclassmen, the actors, they fill in the gaps that the directors might leave. I’ve seen that the underclassmen have really put their backs into it throughout the last month,” Gallano said.

The One Acts provide an opportunity for underclassmen to put their skills to the test as they help create the scenes, act, and improvise as they go. When the time comes to finally perform their scene, the actors summon all of their past experience and confidence to put on the show of their lives.
Anyone is welcome to participate in the One Acts, and no prior experience is required. Being that the One Acts are a small commitment in comparison to the full production plays that the theater department puts on, it draws attention from many underclassmen that are looking for a taste of theatrical culture.

One of the performances included a heartbreaking story about a mother mourning the death of her daughter, who was trying to communicate with her as a ghost. The mother was struggling to find closure and was taking responsibility for her daughter’s death. What made this scene so interesting to watch was the fact that the sisters could see each other but the mother could not see her deceased daughter. Throughout the scene, the living daughter was working to communicate her sisters’ messages to her mother. At the end of the scene, the mother was finally able to understand why her daughter made the choices that she did, and came to terms with the fact that her daughter’s death was not her fault.

For the next coming years, the One Acts performances will provide an experience to all who are seeking the opportunity to participate in a low commitment, yet educational and inspiring journey. Come graduation season, those who have sacrificed hundreds of hours to the One Acts during their years at Huntley High School will pass the torch to the underclassmen who aim to fill their predecessors’ shoes and continue the legacy that they have left.