One-act palooza: ‘A Fabulous Festival Night of One-Acts’ — a theatre review

Published 12:38 am Sunday, November 9, 2008

The political climate of late has brought into focus the need for non-partisan relationships – and our local high school thespians have taken that sentiment to heart. Picayune Memorial High School High Tide Productions and Pearl River Central High School Blue Maskers are reaching across the aisle to present “A Fabulous Festival Night of One-Acts.” When these rival schools join forces, there will be drama!

On Tuesday, Nov. 11, and Thursday, Nov. 13, three one-acts will be presented to the community for one fabulous evening of entertainment. Two of the one-acts are being presented as they will be at an upcoming competition — High School Regionals at USM, Dec. 5 and 6.

Local audiences will enjoy “The Timid Dragon,” by Tim Kelly; “Hard Candy,” by Jonathan Rand and “Cave of the Dragon’s Teeth,” an original piece by Debbie Craig, PRCHS drama teacher.

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“We are a work in progress,” said Craig at a recent dress rehearsal. Her troupe will perform two of the three one-acts.

“The Timid Dragon,” student directed by Miranda Tucker, will be presented by the Blue Maskers. It is a sweet and brightly colored production. Not only will it appeal to its target audience of pre-k through eighth grade, but adults will enjoy some of the more subtle references.

“Sometimes people think they want change, but they really don’t,” said Craig of the show’s theme. This delightful little one-act will not go to regionals, but it will be the only one of the three to go to the MTA State Drama Festival in Natchez, January 15 – 18, 2009.

In “Hard Candy,” performed by High Tide Productions, PMHS students show off what they do best – comedy! Bill Rester, PMHS drama teacher said he drew inspiration from NBC’s hit sitcom “The Office.” He wanted the show to be relatable.

The production is successful on multiple levels: It’s universal, it’s engaging, it’s face-paced, it’s funny. It’s not hard to draw comparisons between reality and the larger-than-life personalities on stage. The Picayune actors work as a tight ensemble, really listening and reacting to each other. “Hard Candy” is brilliantly directed and brilliantly hilarious.

Also a pleasure to watch is “The Cave of the Dragon’s Teeth,” by the Blue Maskers. The world premiere of this original one-act offers a feast for the senses. It’s an enjoyable look at Celtic history and traditions. The beautiful storytellers artfully narrate the piece, taking the audience on their journey.

From the colors to the choreography, Craig has once again smartly utilized all the talents of her students to bring this mesmerizing work to the stage. Prepare yourself for stage combat and Celtic dancing. This production has the potential to be the little show that could for PRCHS.

It should also be mentioned here that both set-ups and strikes, (or tear downs) of the sets, have been choreographed as part of the production. The directors have made this process a seamless part of the show. It’s fun to watch.

Don’t miss your opportunity to see “A Fabulous Festival Night of One-Acts.” The show will be presented at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11, and Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Picayune School District Auditorium. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students.