As seniors perform their last show in their high school career, students reflect on their skills and memories throughout the theatre program

When the stage lights shined down on Chloe Hart for the very last time on May fourth, she could feel the tears in her eyes form as the realization hit her that this will be her last time performing in her high school career.

From writing to directing and acting, students had to create a One Person Show from scratch, using their knowledge from Theatre I-IV including writing, casting, blocking and other technical parts they developed and refined.

“We had a similar project back in Theatre II/III where we each wrote an individual script and then had cold reads but [it’s] nothing compared to the amount of effort put into running a One Person Show on your own,” Hart said.

Incorporated into their curriculum, students said they had to keep in mind regarding how the One Person Shows were a part of their grade as a final project.

“A majority of the class ends up being shows, so the whole experience is a compilation of all those skills,” theatre teacher Mr. Joshua Ansley said. “It’s a way for them to do something that is completely their own.”

Ansley has incorporated writing, along with the growth of other skills like blocking to develop artistic structure into every level of the class to give students freedom regarding their scripts. This allows every student to execute their artistic vision.

“They’re supposed to have a beginning, middle and end to it. They should be aware of those ideas and I guide them through that. We have various checkpoints along the way where they should have at least written the climax of your story by this date. There’s a lot of freedom with it, but I also don’t just release them to go write,” Ansley said.

Although they have practiced, learned and fixed their mistakes, small hiccups still occurred throughout their final semesters.

“Memorization was also another thing that was hard because many of my lines seemed to blur together across the different shows, so I had to really hone in on the specific lines,” Hart said.

Having two and a half months to prepare, other problems like finding the time to plan rehearsals around seven to eight seniors’ schedules was a different challenge to overcome.

“It happened so fast. We had barely any preparation for it and we had less time to block it out, direct it and work on it so it just felt very fast-paced, but it was a good challenge for all of us,” Melia Lambert said.

Despite the obstacles throughout the show, several actors perceived their story as an outlet for comedy rather than artistic expression. Kai La Point said the purpose of his show, “The Day I Became A Nun” was to enjoy the process of being unprepared.

“There was nothing behind it,” La Point said. “It was kind of a joke we’ve been talking about for a long time. It was an idea that was just sitting there but we never had anything actually planned out for it but then we just decided to do it.”

With using only one sitting to finish his script, he based the story line off of a comedian who made a joke about the Bronx and decided to have fun with the entirety of it rather than create pressure on himself. Other students decided to more expression into their show which came with a heavier work load.

“During it I was stressed trying to memorize my lines, and after I was really relieved that it was over, but I’m really glad with the outcome of it,” Lambert said.

Reflecting on their final moment in high school theatre, the OPS’s are a moment for seniors to reflect on their moments from the last three to four years focusing on their growth and sentimental memories they’ve made throughout the program.

“I would say that it was bittersweet in a way,” Hart said. “It was sad that it was my last performance, but I know it means that I’m onto another part of my life.”