BHSTG’s One Acts a Success
by John O’Connell
Braintree High School’s Theatre Guild recently hosted its annual spring one act plays March 6, 7, and 8. The night consisted of four half hour plays, with a brief intermission after the first two. Although the guild did not draw as large of a crowd as it has in past years, the laughter spread throughout the auditorium and was loud enough to compensate for the lower numbers. Many in the guild have said it was one of the best nights of one acts in recent Theatre Guild history.
The night began with a short comedy Befriendead written and directed by Mr. Dane Grigas. This original play tells the story of a young man named Gil (Joey Ryan) who lives with his roommate Daemon (James March), who just so happens to be a zombie. The hilarious script portrays the undead as not a moaning limping monster, but as a witty and calm guy quick to make a pun or two. Gil’s timid nature contrasts perfectly with Daemon’s relaxed charisma. Gil struggles to stand up to Daemon and defend the love of his life Sarah (Kerri Donaghue). The audience even gets involved when zombies come walking through the aisles, the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. The BHS Theatre Guild is hoping for Mr. Grigas to write a sequel to the hysterical play.
The next performance to go on was Waiting directed by Mr. Dahlbeck. This play depicts a young man, Mr. Nelson (Niall McCarthy) who finds himself in a waiting room. He soon realizes the room is a bit more interesting than it seems, however, when he finds out there are no doors. He asks the receptionist and discovers he’s in purgatory, but whenever he believes his sentence is up, the workers in purgatory tell him his sentence is longer than he believed. This dry-humored play shows Mr. Nelson grow more and more desperate as the play goes on, with a notable performance by McCarthy, getting crazier and crazier in each scene. The ultimate kick occurs at the end, when the man discovered he was in hell.
After a brief intermission, the third play was AP Theatre, a comedy directed by BHS senior John O’Connell. An AP theatre student (Jack Hennessy) finds himself taking the Advanced Placement theatre exam, where he must write three classical styles of plays but apply them to the struggles of the modern teenager. The first play is Japanese puppetry telling the story of a boy who wants to ask his crush to prom. The second was a Greek-style play about a brother and sister fighting over the use of a minivan. The final segment was a absurd play about a boy freaking out over his college essay. The hilarious play contrasts the serious tones of classical theatre with funny references such as Domino’s pizza, Lady Gaga, as well as many popular songs.
The final play of the evening was Balcony Scene, directed by BHS senior Nicholas D’Amico. The play told the story of a dead man (Morgan Brown) watching his own funeral, watching others criticize him, and trying to defend his claim to be a good person. The set contained only a balcony and two large stain glass windows that lit up, thanks to lighting designer and BHS senior Paul Vallaincourt. Although the set was small, D’Amico expertly made use of the space by having Brown move around on the balcony, sometimes addressing the crowd implied to be below him. Brown had a compelling performance, portraying some intense emotion that brought the audience to tears. This show was selected to compete at the METG state theatre festival held in Marblehead. Although the show did not move on to semifinals, Braintree held his own against many top-notch theatre schools that receive money from the state.
Not to be forgotten, the technical crew, lead by stage managers Reda Limantas, Meri Madden, and Yvonne Dhimitri, did their usual solid job with construction, sound, painting, costumes, lights, and set changes.
John O’Connell is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition