One Act Advances to Regionals, Stays Overnight Amid Pandemic

Senior Abby Ewing, right, performs with fellow theater students on stage in the PAC.

Photo by Maija Miller

Senior Abby Ewing, right, performs with fellow theater students on stage in the PAC.

Jordyn Folsom, Editor-In-Chief

After finishing in the top three at district and top two at Bi-District for the UIL One-Act Play competition, theater will compete at the regional meet in Lubbock on April 17. Theater is one of the first school organizations to stay in a hotel since the pandemic. 

“I’m not terribly worried about staying overnight because everyone in our cast and crew wants to stay safe and keep each other safe,” senior Abby Ewing said. 

To abide by district and CDC protocols, two students will room together instead of the usual four, students must wear masks on the bus ride to Lubbock and the group is encouraged to order food into the hotel rather than eating in a large group at a restaurant. Fine Arts Head Jeremy Ferman feels the COVID-19 contamination risks are low. 

“We double-cast the show, we have had socially distant rehearsals and we have worn masks during productions all in an effort to keep the show going and so the entire cast doesn’t get quarantined,” Ferman said. “I have been very careful this year.”

The academic UIL competitors (debate, journalism, science, math) will travel to Saginaw on April 16-17 but will not stay overnight. Ferman says it’s necessary for theater to stay the night because of the preparations for their production and the distance to Lubbock.

“We are given a one hour ‘Tech-in’ rehearsal at the venue. This is used to program lights, set and spike our scenic elements, set light cues, and all sorts of other things you need to accomplish when doing a play outside of your own space,” Ferman said. “That rehearsal will take place the day before our actual performance and since we will travel to Lubbock, it only makes sense to stay the night.” 

One-Act will perform “Emma’s Child” by Kristine Thatcher. For Ewing, the biggest obstacle theater has faced is finding other ways to show the emotion and expressions of the characters they play because of the masks. 

“With a play like Emma’s Child, it’s very dramatic and has a lot of emotion in it, so we need to find ways to perform those emotions but still be COVID safe,” Ewing said. “I know some fine arts aren’t competing this year and I’m very happy that we are able to do it.”