Drama Clubs annual one-act plays
to offer night of coruscation
For the past 11 years, Yellow Springs High School thespians have annually
created an original production of one-act plays to truly call their own.
Some years the students focus on improvisation, other years the plays
are connected by a central theme. But every year the audience is sure
to see something new and not a little bit telling about this group of
students expressing themselves through theater.
Its no coincidence that Owen Wolfe, whose band Digital Chronic Orchestra
plays punk and classic rock, wrote a story with Martin Borchers about
a has-been 80s rock band making a comeback on a late-night talk
show. Wolfe and Borchers also star in their play, Rock On,
as rockers with names as curious as Vin Wolfedunevant.
It sounded cool for an 80s rock star, Wolfe said.
Creative license is an attribute that pervades all the one-acts and allows
the students to use their individual talents to create their own vision.
Wolfe and Borchers sing and rap songs that Wolfe wrote for the performance.
We rap about how gangsta we are and how we got the bling-bling and
all that, Wolfe said, referring to being tough and heavily laden
with gold jewelry.
Other plays incorporate the musical talents of their creators, such as
senior Aurianna Tuttles collage of original music, step sequence
and slam poetry. Tuttle had the idea of weaving together her original
compositions and choreographed stomp dance with poetry written and read
by the 10 cast members in her play, Spoken Words. She said
that she wanted her piece to be less about theater and more about issues
prevalent to todays youth.
At first I tried to write a whole show, then I decided I wanted
just realness, Tuttle said. I dont want actors. Just
act the way you are, how you really feel.
Tuttle said that she did not want to limit her writers, who slam about
acceptance, biracial heritage, war and the decisions teens face. Instead,
she wanted to give each a voice in the name of unity, the works
most important message.
Tuttle is directing her own piece because she has never directed anything
she has written in the past. But YSHS theater director Marcia Nowik encouraged
the other writers, who had already directed their own works, to allow
other students to step in for them.
Charlie Cromer, usually an actor, chose to direct James Hydes play,
Lifes Lessons. Cromer elected the one-acts for his directorial
debut because, he said, its more laid back, and its
fun to see what your friends will come up with.
The students come up with some pretty funny stuff that tends to draw people
who dont usually get up on stage, he said. For instance, Wolfe had
never been involved in theater before last years one-acts, when
he made a cameo appearance in another play Borchers had written.
I had been scared of the theater in part because its a close-knit
thing, Wolfe said. People say other schools have football
jocks and Yellow Springs has theater.
But because this is Wolfes last year at YSHS and his friends are
running the show, he said he was convinced to join in the production.
There are a good number of students who only do the one-acts,
Nowik said. Some arent even theater people, they just want
to have fun.
Theyre learning as well, and not only theater. They must navigate
within the limitations set before them, such as the stage rule of using
no more than five blocks and two benches on any set. They are also responsible
for finding their own rehearsal space, scheduling the rehearsals and working
around cast members sports, jobs and other activities.
If they ask for help or extra input, Nowik said that she gives them suggestions
with scripting and directing. She also chooses the order of the acts.
But otherwise, the entire production is in student hands.
Some years the writing is pretty raw emotionally, Nowik said.
But I let them deal with it. If they dont like it, they adjust
This weekends show, Backyard Symphony: A Cornucopia of Coruscation,
plays in the Antioch College experimental theater and could be emitting,
according to Websters definition for coruscation, a sudden
brilliant display, as of wit. The six plays serve as a fundraiser
for the theater department.
James Hyde wrote Lifes Lessons, directed by Charlie
Cromer; Glenn Reed wrote Death Comes A-Knockin, directed by
Jesse Northridge; Martin Borchers and Matthew Zaremsky wrote Martin
and Matt Make a One Act, directed by Kevin Malarkey; Borchers and
Wolfe wrote Rock On, directed by Zaremsky; Northridge wrote
Escape, directed by Hyde; and Tuttle is directing her own
piece, Spoken Words.
The show runs Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22, 8 and 10 p.m., and
Sunday, Feb. 23, 2 p.m., at the Antioch experimental theater.
The production was so popular last year and the experimental theater so
small, that many people were turned away at the door, Nowik said. But
the theaters intimate space fits the mood for the one-acts, she
said, and this year the crew is putting on two shows each night to enable
more people to see it.