Student one acts create laughter

The theater department of the NPHS theater has achieved the seemingly impossible, proving that high school students are able to create hilarious and intriguing scenes, start to finish, without the help of an advisor. On May 13 and 14, the Student One Acts took place, featuring eight different scenes that were written and directed completely by our own student body.

The students in the Theater 2 class worked tirelessly on this event, but participation from the rest of the theater department, as well as anyone interested, was invited. Maxwell Hellard, sophomore and writer/director for Student One Acts, has written books and short stories in the past and decided to write and direct in this year’s production. “It’s always cool to see the stuff that you’ve worked on, on stage, especially when you’re not in it. You can just observe but yeah, I mean, it’s awesome seeing stuff that you’ve worked on, being put on with such awesome people and such great talent,” Hellard said. Hellard worked together with some friends to create the scene titled “Fall Musical’’ which was a comedy featuring the many different (well written) characters that can be found in a theater classroom. Hellard has been involved in many different areas of the theater department, but prefers writing over the many other facets of theater. “I plan to take creative writing classes and pursue that as a career. Directing is not something that I usually do but theater gave me the opportunity to explore that new creative outlet,” Hellard said.

Besides fantastic writing, the performances featured many talented actors whose talent pulled the show together. Isabella Ashamalla, senior, acted in two different scenes and amused the audience with her unique characters. “I received a lot of good feedback from the audience and from my director about how people laughed really hard,” Ashamalla said. Ashamalla played the role of Lucas in “The Audition,” who was a muppet-loving casting director and (as evidenced in the closing scene) a passionate dancer. Ashamalla also played Lisa in “Fall Musical,” a theater-kid know-it-all. Ashamalla explained what makes Student One Act a special production, “It’s different from any other production because it was completely student run and organized. Students have to get together to really make the show,” Ashamalla said.

Though Ashamalla’s scenes were both comedic, some of the scenes caused the audiences to gasp in horror instead of laugh out loud. Issac Kalama, sophomore, acted in the scene “Psychological Test.” “My character is a dead psychologist and it was about him interviewing a captive audience,” Kalama said. Kalama’s performance garnered much audience participation, making for a fun but thrilling scene, “I think my performances went pretty well. The first night was a lot of fun because we got a lot of screams since it was supposed to be scary,” Kalama said. For Kalama, the biggest difference between Student One Act and any other production put on by the NPHS theater department is the fact that it is completely student led and created.

Student One Acts is a great opportunity for those interested to get involved in creative endeavors as theater provides many outlets for expression. For Hellard, inspiration to write, for theater or for personal endeavors, comes from all around. “Once you have anything to inspire, you just start writing. Don’t think about it too much when you’re just starting out. Just put words on a page …write all over the place and you can develop your ideas as you go, you learn as you go and new ideas will definitely come to you as you go. It can be stressful starting out. But I would say just don’t let that stress get in your way,” Hellard said.