The State One Act Festival is a unique experience for participants. Two seniors reflect on what made it so special.
Senior year comes with many lasts. For us, this one was the hardest. We both found a home in the Fine Arts department during our high school career and can easily say that we will not soon forget the magic and the friends we’ve made. This years’ production of Belfast was bittersweet for many reasons, besides it being our last One Act. The cast and crew of this show worked hard to portray the horrors that happened during “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, which included many events such as Bloody Friday and Bloody Sunday. We also worked to cover the stories of the Belfast dock workers and IRA members. Of course, there were many more incidents, but we just couldn’t cover them all in 45 minutes.
The process for making a show like this starts with what exactly we want the audience to see, think, and feel. We then do research according to the groups we form (ie. religious groups, outside opinions, political leaders). Short performance pieces are created out of the research we find and we perform these for the rest of the cast. These scenes can include, but are not limited to, pantomime, song, and dance. Slowly but surely, we put together our show with our scenes in an order that makes sense.
The experience of traveling to state is unlike any other out-of-town competition. Both of us come from backgrounds in All-State Choir (and Emma in Competitive Cheer and Dance), so we have traveled with extracurricular activities more than once. While all of those trips are important and memorable, the State Show is a completely different world. The cast of the State show creates a story out of nothing together. We invest countless hours perfecting our music, story, and choreography. Forcing people to spend that much time and energy on one another forms an unbreakable bond among the cast that is not easily forgotten.
It is by no means an easy process, but it is an incredible and worthwhile experience. Involvement in the original One Act provides an opportunity to learn something that we can’t learn in a regular classroom. Along with the educational aspect, this production also gave us the chance to give voices to those victims who lost their lives in the tragedy that took place over 40 years ago.