The cast, and directors of the Winter One Acts take their curtain call

Photo courtesy of @SandburgHS Twitter

One Acts: Made at Sandburg by the students and for the students

March 28, 2016

After weeks of writing, rewriting, and rehearsing, the writers of the Winter One Acts got to see their creation come to life on the stage on January 14 and 15, 2016.

Winter One Acts are a Sandburg tradition where students can write their own short play, or in this year’s case, maybe even a musical. Not only do Sandburg students write these plays, the show features student actors. Writers sit in auditions and get to choose who to cast in their play, just like a real director would.

“We had to create our own sets, our costumes, makeup; everything was us. I’ve dreamed of writing a show and performing it on stage since sophomore year, and it was so cool to see what I created with Olivia [Kelliher] come to life on stage,” said Hassan Abdelghani, senior and writer of one of the plays.

The three plays featured were “Playing With Love”, written by Megan Kats and Haley Carrero, “AP Photography”, by Kristi Durkin and Clare Morrissey, and “Second Star to the Fight” by Hassan and Olivia Kelliher. The first play followed Adam, your typical high school nerd in love with a girl way out of his league. He and his best friend dress up as girls to get closer to his love. After discovering the ugly truth about her personality, Adam gets a happily-ever-after with her best friend.

“AP Photography” rings true to many high school seniors, especially around this time of year when acceptance letters–and rejection letters–are abound. It is about high-schooler Piper whose life goal is to get into Yale and become a photographer. After getting rejected from her dream school, Piper has to figure out how to cope and what to do with her life. She discovers that she isn’t a failure for not getting into her dream school, and in the end everything turns out, in the words of Piper’s dad, played by Sandburg Senior Andy Rich, “alright.”

The final act was “Second Star to the Fight.” Set in a wacky high school where three Brittanys rule the school, the new girl, Destiny, must find where she fits in among her crazy classmates and strange family, making a few friends in the process, like the fairy wing-wearing former choir king and a rabbit. Through her success in a talent show, Destiny is able to break down the hierarchy and save a few lives in the process.

Ellie Rybak, Tanner VanderKrabben, and Hassan Abdelghani

Photo courtesy of @SandburgHS Twitter
Ellie Rybak, Tanner VanderKrabben, and Hassan Abdelghani

As fun as it may sound, a lot of hard work and time has to go into these One Acts from the time the idea pops into the writer’s head to opening night. For a 20-minute play, the script could takes days or weeks to write. From there ,actors have to be chosen, learn their lines, and perfect their portrayals. Rehearsals go late into the night and meet several times each week.

But for this mix of aspiring movie writers and casual writers looking for a hobby, all the long hours and frustration seem to be worth it.

Kristi Durkin, senior, saw the Winter One Acts as a chance to gain some experience in her career path.

Durkin said, “This was the first opportunity for me to really take charge on something that I’ve wanted to do in terms of my career path. To have have people perform something I wrote is awesome,” said Durkin

But the writers weren’t the only students following dreams or having fun with friends. The show featured several talented actors and actresses who brought these writers’ characters to life. Many of these actors were some fresh faces, underclassmen who display a promising path in Sandburg theatre.

Ellie Rybak, sophomore, played Brittany, the talented and gorgeous but vengeful queen bee at the fictional high school. She’s been doing theatre since she was seven.

“I loved it because I got to work with my best friends. A show isn’t really fun unless you have good people in it. We had such a strong, talented cast; we all bonded,” said Rybak, “[Playing a villain] was really different. I’ve never really played the mean girl, but I got to use different styles of acting, and I got to release my inner brat.”

Writers and actors alike watched something they all worked together to create come to life before their eyes.

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