In the Performing Arts department, One Acts — a series of brief, single act scenes that come together to create full performances — will happen even in these unusual times. Despite the changes necessary because of COVID-19 precautions, the actors and directors plan on performing the one act plays outside sometime in December.

In the past few weeks auditions have been taking place, and rehearsals are now in full swing. 

“The audition for One Acts this year was technically very similar to past auditions. However, it felt more exciting and important because the performing arts students, especially singers, have lost so much this year,” said student actor Nora Jarquin ’22.

The One Act audition process followed the safety protocols of wearing masks throughout the audition and socially distancing outside. 

“The energy was a little low compared to years in the past, but I think that is because of the masks,” said Jarquin.

Finding ways to connect between the actors in each act was challenging because of mask-wearing and frequent remote rehearsals. 

“It’s a bit nerve-wracking because I really want to have a close cast, and put together something fun, but managing COVID-19 regulations and putting forth a product that I’m happy with can be stressful” said one of the Senior Directors, Lillie Ayer ’21.

The cast may be split up due to COVID-19 restrictions more than in past years when coaching to avoid the spread of the virus. 

“Because it is very difficult to get groups of people together, there has been an emphasis this year on one-on-one coaching for the One Acts, which definitely aid in growth for actors and directors alike,” said Ryan Colone ’21. 

The actors have to resort to other ways to express their emotions rather than using their whole face since half will now be covered by a mask. 

“The actors have had to focus a lot on physicality and voice use. Using our bodies and body language to get our point across has become even more important and being able to manipulate our voices to achieve the same thing took priority. We also used our eyes a lot because people can tell a lot about an emotion through the eyes,” said Jarquin. 

Ayer agrees with the issues of actors showing expression especially when prepping for the performances. 

“I think the “working” process will be a bit different because with blocking we do have to maintain space and it’s harder to see people’s expressions with the masks,” said Ayer.

As the responsibility for the student actors as they prepare for their performances increases, they will use their time outside of class to practice as well.

“With the circumstances of this year and class being far less frequent, a lot of the responsibility of choosing pieces, repressing, and directing has fallen to the students, so this year definitely has a stronger emphasis on independence,” said Colone.

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