Student-Directed One Acts
As one of our six Habits of Mind & Heart, cultivating leadership is an essential component of the Whitfield experience. Opportunities big and small, formal and informal, exist in and out of classrooms. By making announcements at Morning Assembly, to participating in a wide variety of activities from athletics to dramatic productions to dozens of clubs and organizations, our students take pride in being involved, and embrace trying new things. As a result, students grow in confidence and poise during their time at Whitfield.
On December 4-5, 2019, Whitfield’s International Thespian Troupe #5436 presented Student-Directed One Acts. Unlike other theater productions throughout the school year, such as the Middle and Upper School fall plays the and spring musical, the One Act plays are entirely directed and performed by students. In the span of just a few weeks, the student directors select a play, run auditions and choose their casts, hold rehearsals, and finally present their productions.
According to Director of Productions Amy Allen Cano, the Student-Directed One Acts are an integral component of Whitfield’s theater curriculum.
“We started performing the Student-Directed One Acts many years ago,” said Allen Cano. “This gives upper school students a chance to direct outside of class for a ‘real’ audience which gives it a different level of importance. Traditionally, a lot of freshmen and sophomores get involved in the casts so it’s a great opportunity for younger actors to get their feet wet in theater. “
This year’s directors were: Kate Courtney ’21, Kenny Hill ’20, Sarah Kline ’21, Adam Lauer ’20, Alayah Lipnick ’20, and Owen Taylor ’20.
“I have acted in other theater productions over the past four years but not in the One Acts,” said Alayah Lipnick ’20. “I decided to direct this year because I wanted an opportunity to do something different and improve my leadership skills. With such a short time frame, the process had its challenges but overall it was really fun and I’m glad that I did it. I’m really happy with how the show turned out.”
This was also Adam Lauer’s ’20 first time participating in the One Acts as either a director or actor. “This was a really interesting process,” said Lauer. “It was neat to see the cast develop as actors from starting out just reading the lines to really being the characters. The experience I had as a director will be important not just in theater but in other areas as well.”
This is the second year Owen Taylor ’20 directed a One Act. “I really had a great experience last year—it was so much fun,” said Taylor. “I also wanted to help teach people who are new to theater. This year I had five freshmen and one sophomore in my cast. It was really a great experience for me, as a senior, to have the opportunity to teach all the things that I’ve learned in theater over the past four years to these younger kids.”
2019 Student-Directed One Acts
“Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview” by Ian McWethy, directed by Adam Lauer ’20
“Gee” by Dean O’Carroll, directed by Sarah Kline ’21
“Dorothy and Alice” by Itamar Moses, directed by Kate Courtney ’21
“Five Worse Breakups of All Time” by Ian McWethy, directed by Owen Taylor ’20
“Appropriate Audience Behavior” by Ian McWethy, directed by Alayah Lipnick ’20 and Kenny Hill ’20