LSE Theater Department takes different approach to One Act performances

Samuel Abourezk, Staff Writer

The LSE Winter One Act performances happened last weekend at the Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Theater. Students performed on Friday, Dec. 4, and on Saturday, Dec. 5. There were six productions in total.

Senior Devon Gambrell performed in the play Rabbit, which, according to Gambrell, was about “these post-apocalyptic teenagers . . . that developed their own society.” 

Gambrell’s role in the play Rabbit, was to “detain somebody that was found to have killed the rabbit in the play.” Rabbit had the largest cast, with around 15 actors working on the production. The play was shown through a livestream, and on Friday, Gambrell says that the performance had to hurry, as the school wi-fi shut off at 10 PM. 

COVID-19 has affected the productions greatly, as they had to take numerous precautions that they otherwise wouldn’t have had to make. The productions were limited by the number of people that they could have, and they were unable to double-cast roles. When a production isn’t double-cast, if any production member has complications, be they in injury or otherwise, they do not have a backup. Gambrell says that Rabbit  could have had more people involved, but that COVID-19 had “decreased the number of people that can be a part of the cast.” 

Gambrell says that productions from other schools have been cancelled, because of COVID-19 related issues. 

“Luckily, it came into fruition. None of us caught COVID, and we were able to perform,” Gambrel said. 

Four of the six productions were directed by students this year. Two of the six were directed by teachers, with English teacher Kathryn Frankforter directing Take Five, and Theater Director Tyler Lambley directing Rabbit. Gambrell thinks that the concept of student-directed plays “was pretty cool.” 

Another one of the productions, Take Five, portrayed the unpredictability of live theater, with numerous intentional issues made to illustrate this point. 

Throughout rehearsals, members wore masks and took health precautions, which played a large part in the success of the productions. This is Gambrell’s first year in theater, though he wishes “that it was always a part of me.” If not for the safety measures taken, the efforts of the theater productions would have been ruined by quarantines, which has already happened to countless sports teams city-wide. The performances succeeded, to the benefit of the audience and to the theater members who labored for its completion.