December 14 through 16, the JagTheatre put on a series of performances in Carrboro High’s Blackbox Theater. A product of roughly two months of preparation, the performances—called One Acts—carried on an annual tradition.
One Acts have always been student-led; responsible for the 2017 productions were around 70 students of varying specialties and skill levels. Students in Theater III and IV served as directors and producers respectively, and students in Technical Theater served as technicians. Further supporting the production were stage manager assistant directors (SMADs) who led in the
case of a director’s absence.
For Brian Kelly, a junior, the 2017 performances marked his first experience with One Acts.
“Different from every other theater student, I was allowed to skip Theater I and II and get directly into Theater III with the directors,” said Kelly. “However, I have always enjoyed past shows in the audience.”
Kelly directed “Barbie and Ken,” a comedy by Sandra Dempsey. An arduous process, a significant portion of his work as director took place outside of school hours.
“This role has entailed choosing a play to direct; holding auditions and callbacks for the roles I intended to cast; casting my show; planning all set, stage, costume, makeup and sound design; and holding rehearsals for the show,” said Kelly.
One Acts plays each lasted around ten minutes. Historically, the plays had been almost exclusively comedic. Kelly notes, however, that this year was unique in that certain plays had a dramatic tone.
Said Kelly, “[it’s something] I have not seen at Carrboro in a while.”
Among all the components of One Acts, Kelly most appreciates the sense of student independence. He attributes much of the production’s success to Brett Stegall, the event supervisor and a key figure in the performing arts department.
“It isn’t very often you get to direct your own play in high school,” said Kelly. “I think Ms. Stegall has made her own amazing, yet small, community, with classes representing the technical, director, producer and actor perspectives of the theater process.”
Photo courtesy JagTheatre