Twenty Four Hours, One Act

Monarch Thespians write and perform in the annual 24 one acts


Oliver Ullman

With Red Bull in the background, Jack Vanderveer, Madi Sinsel, Lauren Ortiz-Hunt, Meredith Marshall, and Elena Familetto work to write their one act. The groups worked late into the night to write and perfect their acts to later perform them for their friend and parents.

Oliver Ullman, News Editor

It’s Friday night, you just finished a brutal test in AP Chemistry and Spanish, what do you do? Go out with friends, plan a date, see a movie? How about stay at school? For approximately 35 Thespians (a fancy word for actor) who stayed at Monarch until Saturday night, this was the exhausting, exciting, and ultimately rewarding case.

No, these energetic students of all grades are not masochists, they are the participants in the annual 24-hour one acts. This is where in a 24-hour period groups of five students must write and act a one act play and then perform it in front of peers and parents alike. The students can write about any topic they want, as long as it remains somewhat school appropriate and engages their audience. All of this is done without the help of adults, consistent with theatre department head and teacher Gwendolyn Lucas-Doctor’s idea of a student-run theatre department.

Twenty four hour one-acts is now in its eighth year, and is still mostly the same as when it began. “It’s I think gotten bigger and better” said Doctor, most often referred to as Doc by the theatre kids. “It was first generated from students. The kids came up to me and said ‘we want to do this’ so we made it happen and we’ve been doing it ever since.”

As the night started after school on Friday, the groups began outlining their plots and planning their one-acts. “This needs to be very emotional”, said junior Jack Vanderveer. “We want the the story to really make a point”. Jack played the dad in their one-act, whose infidelity and drinking tears their family apart, leading up to a massive fight in their kitchen.

The various one-acts did not have a specific location, and varied widely in environments and scene changes. One was set in a mental hospital, while another one took place at a funeral, and some just used the household as their staging grounds for the their plays, which each lasted about ten minutes.

On Saturday each group performed their one-acts, which parents and students were invited to watch. About 100 people witnessed a collection of dramas and comedies that were judged by fellow actors, with the three highest scoring performances receiving awards.

In the end, the participants spoke highly of their experience, with almost all of them saying they would do it again. “I really enjoyed 24 hour one acts”, said junior Harrison Abel, “We always perform really cool plays and musicals that other people wrote, so it was really cool to create and perform our own.”