Sidwell Acting Company Prepares for Upcoming One Act Performance

Eleanor Walsh '21 and Claudia Labson '21

Fourteen student actors have been working since August to put together three unique 25-minute pieces for the annual One Act Festival, which will take place on October 6-8.

According to John Elko, the director of the One Act Festival, each play tells a different story, yet are all linked by a common thread.

“Communication, or lack thereof, is the through line tying these plays together,” Elko said.

The three plays examine communication in various relationships and give viewers a sense for the different ways communication-related issues can manifest themselves. The first play, “Hero Dad,” explores three relationships: one between an upstairs resident and a tenant living below, the second between a jogger and narcissistic man and the third between a pregnant woman and her former partner.

The second play, “The Ballad of 423 and 424”, is written in an episodic style, with 17 scenes, and follows the arc of a relationship between a couple.

“According to the playwright, Nicholas C. Pappas, the doors [between the two apartments] are the third character in the play,” Elko noted.

The audience watches the relationship develop in the hallway between the doors. The viewers will see the couple move from their first meeting to an initially casual but later stable relationship and finally into an intimate romantic partnership.

The third and final play was written by Missouri-native Lanford Wilson. The play tells the story of 17 characters in a small village in the Ozark Mountains. Their individual stories fit together to form a quilt that tells the tale of the village. The play gives the viewer a sense of what everyday life is like in the community.

Elko hopes to combine the three plays into a more sophisticated production than what one would typically find at a high school.

He wants the One Act Festival to be “theater in a high school setting, not ‘high school’ theater,” explaining that “theater in a high school setting can be viewed by someone from the outside of the school community and cause them to experience an evening of theater, whereas ‘high school theater’ brings to mind family members saying ‘doesn’t my daughter/son look cute in her/his costume?’”

Elko hopes that audience members will follow the stories and appreciate the hard work that the acting company and the student technicians contributed to the production.

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