Senior One Acts Showcase the Harsh Truths of Love

On Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 the drama department held their second night of Senior-Directed One Acts that not only showcased the astonishing work of the actors and directors themselves, but also a multitude of stories on the ugly (and beautiful) truths of love.

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Ashley Edwards

Madi Keener and Jordan Marvin, juniors contemplate their decision to get married during "LOVE/SICK". Keener performed three different times that night.

LOVE/SICK

A bride and groom unsure if they truly love each other, a girlfriend gone mad (or bored) a couple who is slowing losing their spark and themselves, a wife fearing the unrelenting inevitability of time, two divorcees reunited by fate. “Love/Sick”, written by John Carlani and directed by Kelly Holland, senior, presented a myriad of different perspectives of what love is and how difficult it can truly be.

 As the stage lights dim, a blanket of silence covers the audience. When brought back into the light, Keith, played by Jordan Marvin, junior, appears on the stage in a frantic state. Filled with anxiety on his decision to commit his life to his bride, Celia, played by Madi Keener, junior. The two go back and forth on stage passionately, still figuring out if they truly want to be together– on their wedding day.

Along with this story, included many other points of view on the difficulties of love. Also including Olivia Vicos, Nolan Hassebroek, Kaitlin Hensley, Kaley Haines, and Pierce Blackman, juniors, these actors truly expressed these harsh realities of love making the audience believe they’ve lived these tales before. 

‘Til Death Do Us Part

“Til Death Do Us Part” was the only show both written and produced by a senior. Luke Walker, senior, wrote this story based off of a past relationship and used it as a way to express his emotions– not only for the audience, but as a way of coping. 

As the stage lights turn on, a blue hue casts a shadow on the back wall. We then see Nathan (Zachary Slonaker, senior) kneeling over who we thought was his late girlfriend Sarah (Olivia Vicos, junior), saying “I’m free! Finally free.” Walker’s play takes us on the story of their love from how they first met to the very end through flashbacks from Nathan’s point of view. What starts out as a sweet, quirky relationship turns dark soon. They battled through the ruthless challenges of their relationship as “I love you’s” began to mean less and less throughout the play.

As for the audience, we got to see how Nathan let this love drive him into complete and utter madness. “Better off dead, better off dead,” are words Nathan eerily whispers to himself, sending chills down everyone’s spines. Out of fear for her safety, Sarah keeps a gun under her bed. Soon, his obsession takes over and Nathan attempts to take Sarah’s life by suffocating her with a pillow. Suddenly, the gun fires, taking Nathan’s life instead. The way Walker misconstrued the audience’s perception of who was truly dead from the beginning was genius and left everyone in awe at the end. When the stage lights turned off, we were left feeling uncomfortable and shocked in the best way possible.

Zachary Slonaker, senior kneels by and Olivia Vicos’s, junior, side muttering the words “I’m free”. This act sent chills down many spines with all the twists and turns.

Why We Like Love Stories

Directed by Hank Sledge, senior, and written by Stephen Gregg, “Why We Like Love Stories” takes viewers along the awkwardness and complications of modern teenage love. After Sledge cautioned the audience of a “cuteness warning”, we saw Chloe, played by Keener, and Crooper, played by Pierce Blackman, junior, breaking up.

After Chloe breaks the news, she shares that “in love stories, you can make anyone fall in love with you, but in real life, you can’t.” We then meet Bark, played by Jason Leeper, sophomore, a sweet, quirky guy who is  adds to the comic relief of the story. Later, we met Jessica, played by Vicos, another love interest. Throughout the play, there is a love triangle– or in this case, square– between the four teens that adds to the harsh truth of how overwhelming and complicated love can truly be, especially with technology.

The teens learn how to communicate with each other face to face rather than through a screen and use the line, “In love stories, you can make anyone fall in love with you, but in real life, you can’t,” as their mantra. Not only do they learn about love in general, but also a lot about themselves. Finally, the play ends with Bark’s head on Jessica’s shoulder, justifying the aforementioned “cuteness warning”. 

 

Bark, played by Jason Leeper, sophomore smiles in satisfaction of finding a girlfriend. “Why We Like Love Stories” showcased how complicated love can be.

Overall, the night taught the audience that love isn’t just about committing your whole heart to someone else, but making sure you are in love with yourself as well. Learning to embrace yourself and growing is all a part of the journey. The three shows did a magnificent job of sharing stories of love through a lot of different perspectives and story lines. Love drives is confusing, scary, and can sometimes drive us mad, but can also aid in helping us find ourselves in this journey through life.