One Person Show lengths adjusted in attempt to benefit theater program


In preparation for her One Person Show, Vivian Miszti uses her script to show Miranda Gerbaud where to block in scene. Photo by Emma Thomas.

For more than five years, each theater teacher has helped seniors write and direct their One Person Shows. However, this year Mr. Joshua Ansley decided to adjust this tradition.

Theater teachers in the past have allowed students to create 45-minute long shows, but Ansley hopes seniors will be more successful with a shorter scene, approximately 10 minutes.

Ansley understands that students may be disappointed with this change because they have been looking forward to it for four years. However, he asks students to look to the future as this change will positively impact the theater program.

“If there are any cons, it’s that it’s different than what people are used to and nobody likes change,” Ansley said.

Ultimately, Ansley wants to improve the program. He wants to increase student pride in the program and wants it to be run more professionally. Ansley believes that last year’s program was facilitated in inexperienced ways by the way casts and shows were put together and how classes were run. His goal is to have the program more united within the school by partnering with other programs on campus to evolve both.

“I want better relationships with theaters, parents and businesses in the community so we can come together and make the program better,” Ansley said.

Ansley thinks the theater program needs to return to the basics by stripping it down to the necessities to be able to improve, grow again and achieve these goals.

“In my view, we are still trying to repair some things and there has to be some pruning as a result of that so we can grow again. Otherwise, we are just building upon something that is dead,” Ansley said.

Some of this pruning and cutting back is in reference to the One Person Shows. Ansley believes that there is more significance placed on the shows than they deserve and thinks that the adjustment from scenes will begin the process of repairing the theater program.

“To make it better, we need to cut it off. Make it less to make it more. The [theater program] is doing a lot not very well. I want to do just a little bit really, really well,” Ansley said.

Ansley hopes that students will do outstanding performances with the 10-minute time limit rather than a 45-minute one. He doesn’t want students to take on a bigger task than they can handle and hopes that all the talent will be received better from the audience with the smaller scene. However, Ansley recognizes that further adaptations to OPS performances may happen.

“It’s an experimental year. If it doesn’t work out or I feel like we can expand later on, we will. But this was the best choice to try and make it into something that will work well,” Ansley explained.

Students such as Vivian Miszti understand Ansley’s reasoning and believe it will benefit the program and the other students.

“The senior shows aren’t like the school musicals or plays. We don’t get to rehearse every day for a couple months. I’ve been in five OPS’ and stage managed for one and there was barely any rehearsal time to prepare. I always thought it was unrealistic for every single senior to smoothly operate one act and I think that a transition to one scene is a much better idea,” Miszti said.

However, Miszti understands the disappointment some students will feel with this adjustment.

“Some seniors have been working on their [OPS] for the last three or four years and have full scripts prepared so it may have taken a toll on them, but I think the change is more effective in the long run and they will turn out more successful,” Miszti said.

Miszti thinks this change will have a positive impact on the theater but a minimal one.

Miszti said, “it’s not a big change that will really impact the theater program but it’s a start on Mr. Ansley’s part, who is trying his absolute best to piece it back together.”

One Person Shows will begin performances on May 24 during 6th period and after school at 5 p.m. Admission is free.