Student Voice

Student actors, directors and technical staff showcase talent through One Acts

Penny+Hill%2C+23%2C+playing+Lottie%2C+reads+two+poems+about+the+struggles+of+identity+for+asexual+individuals+during+the+Student+One+Acts+at+Moorpark+College%2C+on+April+25%2C+2018.+Hill%27s+performance+was+titled+%22Ace%2C%22+in+refernce+to+the+shorthand+term+for+asexual.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt
Penny Hill, 23, playing Lottie, reads two poems about the struggles of identity for asexual individuals during the Student One Acts at Moorpark College, on April 25, 2018. Hill's performance was titled

Penny Hill, 23, playing Lottie, reads two poems about the struggles of identity for asexual individuals during the Student One Acts at Moorpark College, on April 25, 2018. Hill's performance was titled "Ace," in refernce to the shorthand term for asexual. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Penny Hill, 23, playing Lottie, reads two poems about the struggles of identity for asexual individuals during the Student One Acts at Moorpark College, on April 25, 2018. Hill's performance was titled "Ace," in refernce to the shorthand term for asexual. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Emily Nelissen

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The Student One Acts made their debut for the semester on April 25 at the Black Box in the Performing Arts Center.

Actors, directors and technical staff are looking forward to showcasing their hard work over the next two weeks.

“This has been my favorite thing that I have ever been apart of,” said Cam Sherman, an 18-year-old Theatre major. “This has given me a unique opportunity to dive into different ways of acting that I have not been able to before.”

The entirely student run production has been in the making for 12 weeks by the Theatre Production class. Sherman is an actor amongst the nine performances, and he stressed that mainly working with his fellow students has been such a great experience for growth as an actor. It allows him to see all the moving parts that go into such a large production.

John Loprieno, a producer and one of the only faculty members involved in the One Acts, emphasized the importance of the student-run aspect of the performances.

“The students feel so empowered when they can direct and create theatre,” said Loprieno. “They aren’t so intimidated for their futures in theatre because of this experience.”

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Nick Baker (left), playing Taylor, alongside Meray Bedoian, playing Maria, perform in the Student One Acts, in the Black Box at Moorpark College, on April 25, 2018. Their performance, titled “After,” explored the path of overcoming an abusive relationship, whle trying to start anew. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Elisabeth Melcher, a 27-year-old Theatre major, can agree with Loprieno’s statement. She is directing her own one act entitled “Ghost Travels”, a parody on “Ghost Hunters” and reality television shows in general.

Melcher said she wrote the one act on a whim because she enjoys writing sketch comedies and watching reality TV.

“I start writing, and I don’t judge myself because I think it’s important to make a rough draft of what I want,” said Melcher. “I will pick apart my script over and over again.”

She said that there was an upward of 20 revisions done to create her final product that will feature Sherman as the character of Jack Sagans. Sherman describes him as an over-the-top manly ghost hunter, and he has enjoyed getting the freedom to figure out a character that varies so much from his own personality.

Another one act, entitled “ACE” by Ariana Burell, features actress Penny Hill, and she can personally resonate with her character. The 23-year-old Theatre major plays a young lady who is discovering how she needs to date as an asexual. Hill herself is aromantic, and this helps her explore the meaning of that and how she can relate to her asexual friends.

“This is an important story that I think people need to see and understand,” said Hill.

The themes of the one acts address serious topics like asexuality, sexual harassment, comedy and relationships. There is even a show entitled “Sweet Dreams” that features the work of Michael Grimes’ FTVM soap opera class.

“We don’t censor anybody, and the students want to understand so we talk about it,” said Loprieno.

The range of opportunity for the actors and directors also reflects in the technical aspect of the show as well. Jake Arpaia, a 22-year-old Theatre Arts major, is the stage manager for the One Acts, and it lets him problem-solve different aspects of each show when running into an issue.

He said that some shows can have three lighting or sound cues, and others can have 20. This assortment amongst the nine performances can cause for an array of different complications.

“A lot of junior colleges don’t offer this sort of opportunity,” said Arpaia. “I am able to figure out certain situations because I get this experience under my belt.”

The nine one acts are split over a Bill A and a Bill B. The varying themes are spread throughout the mix of performances. The remaining shows for Bill A are on May 2 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. The May 2 performances feature a “Talk Back” afterward that allows the audience to discuss and ask questions about what they just watched. Bill B’s shows are on May 3 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. and a free matinee will be on May 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at a 20 percent discount online at moorparkcollege.edu/pac.

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Rheanna Dunn (left), playing Jessica Clark, is held by Keir Kloss, playing Detective Hughs, during the Student One Acts in the Moorpark College Performing Arts Center, on April 25, 2018. Their performance, titled “Sweet Dreams,” was directed by fellow theatre students, Shawn Klingenhoff and Griffin Monczka. (©Evan Reinhardt 2018)

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