Theater IV seniors prepare for upcoming one-person shows


With their one-person shows, a performance written, produced, and directed by Theater IV seniors, coming up on May 11-12, Melia Lambert and Michaella Leonor run through Lambert’s show. Photo by Francheska Pontillas.

Theater IV seniors will showcase their personally written, produced, and directed OPS, One Person Shows. Assigned at the beginning of the school year, these 15-minute mini-showcases have been prepared by 11 seniors and will finally be presented to the public from May 11-12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Writers draw from students in the theater program to cast the roles they need. Michaella Leonor, a junior in Theater IV, has parts in five shows.

“It is a bit past the limit, but I have three leading roles and the rest of my parts are smaller scene fillers. I’m looking forward to doing my own OPS next year,” Leonor said. 

As an underclassman in Theater II/III, Josiah Roland was cast to perform in one show. 

“Students can volunteer, but in most circumstances, they have to read a couple of lines as the characters, then the writers see how they fit in with the role. The reason I got cast was that they didn’t have enough people in Theater IV, so the writers pulled some people from Theater II/III and had us do the same process,” he said. 

The preparations for these shows are mainly limited to the Theater IV class. 

“Since the seniors are writing and directing these shows, they especially need help. Besides my role as a performer, I’ve also been helping seniors with stage-work and props, really anything they need help with,” Leonor said. 

Excited to showcase her writing, Sam Spruce creates a fictional piece with a hidden message for the audience. 

“My show is about a time traveler who is trying to run away from the police because they want to take back a time machine that another character had stolen. In the midst of all the chaos, the time traveler realizes that they’re running from the issue rather than facing it head-on. The main character’s realization acts as a tribute to how people should not take time for granted and how people should just live in the now instead of running away from all of their problems,” Spruce said. 

Basing his show on ideas he’s had since he first began theater, Alan DeSmet is thrilled to showcase his piece “Demerit Troubles”. 

“A big thing in theater are demerits, my show is based on those. The main point of my show is basically that there are these theater students that have forgotten their scripts at the theater, and in order to get them back they devise a heist and steal their scripts,” DeSmet said. 

In her fourth year of theater, Amarena Roland’s process for finalizing her storyline was to relate it to her own experiences.

“It took me a while to figure out what I wanted my show to be about and what style. I just thought about things in my own life that have happened and that I would be comfortable writing about,” Roland said. “My piece is about a girl who constantly ponders about her friendships. She eventually comes to a conclusion that all of them aren’t really great friendships and that she should find different people to be around and connect to.”

Working constantly on her storyline each semester, Liz Foss finishes her show early in order to have time for adjustments before the big performance. 

“It’s just so cool to see the stories everyone came up with, all the characters they’ve written, the people they’ve cast for those characters. I appreciate that this class is very student-based, it really pushes us to our limits. So, I think these shows will be really good,” Foss said.

Leaning more toward a comedic horror piece, Sally Santora bases her show on the zombie apocalypse. 

“In my show, there are really only four speaking roles, the rest are zombie roles, and they don’t really speak. However, I created this piece to be very immersive for the audience. Characters will enter through the same doors the audience enters through, it’s going to feel like you’re a part of my show too. I incorporated many props as well. I have a gun, machete, an ax, a bat, and a pony on a stick that makes funny sounds,” Santora said.

Sal LaPenna was cast to be in multiple productions and he portrays many side roles. 

“I expect these shows to be very fun and comedic, and also true to the writers’ creativeness. But since they are written only by students, they won’t be as big of a production compared to the Spring and Fall plays, it won’t be as high quality but it’s still worth the watch,” LaPenna said.

These shows will be the final high school performance for all Theater IV seniors.

“It means a ton for us seniors to see all of the support we get, especially as we move on to college, it would really give us a satisfying end to our high school experience,” DeSmet said.

These shows will be free for the public to watch in the theater May 11-12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.