One Act Wonders

MN 2021 One-Act Production: “Defying Gravity”

Teagan Lynch, Staff Writer

Lights illuminate the audience’s faces while students from all sorts of different schools gather backstage, getting ready to perform. One Act means one shot in front of judges. The untraditional theater competition is about to begin. 

Millard North High School’s One Act play this year is called “Defying Gravity” and is about the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion on January 28, 1986. The play also follows the experiences of those involved. 

“This is a really interesting look at how people’s stories fit together in the greater scheme of life,” co-director Allycia Gutierrez said.

The plays One Act puts on for their audience are shorter than what they would normally be, creating a unique experience for both the audience and the performers.

“I think it’s fun because it makes me want to work harder… and have the show better so we can do better at competition,” actress Amelia Wheeler said.

The final component of putting on the One Act play is putting everything together for competition: blocking, acting, and technology.

“The hardest part is standing in the wings during a competition and watching the students take over.” Gutierrez said. “By this point they’re totally ready and they always make me proud, but it’s pretty nerve-wracking to stand in the back and not be able to do anything.”

This show is made from the survivor’s points of view rather than that of those who died. This is a unique take on traditional storylines which emphasizes connections and gratitude in light of a terrible event.

“What I love most about theater is that I can create a scene for someone that can change how they view something.” Mcfee said.

Similar to the plays of the previous years, the tone of “Defying Gravity” is very serious and somber with a little bit of humour mixed in.

“I hope that it’ll really make the audience appreciate the relationships that they have with their family,” Gutierrez said. “This is a really important part of history, and it’s not something that everyone has personal memories of.”

While working together to make the best show they can, the cast and crew bond together, creating unforgettable memories.

“My favorite part of One Act is connecting with people you don’t usually know because it can create a better environment for yourself,” crew member Alex Mcfee said.

And by bonding together, the members of One Act began to form  multiple valuable relationships and friendships. 

“[My favorite part is] connecting and seeing all my friends every day after school; It’s a really fun environment,” Wheeler said.