This story has been updated from its original version.
Lake Oswego High School will debut a series of senior-directed one-act plays April 18 titled, "An Uncomfortable Evening." The production will consist of five one-acts directed by LOHS seniors. Four of the plays were written by outside sources, and one was written by senior Mitch McGonegal, who is also acting in the one-act directed by senior Tatum Miller.
The one-acts were all chosen, cast and directed by seniors, who will make their directorial debut this month. In addition to Miller, the one-act directors are Anya Bouchard, Malaika Murphy, McCall Ranche and Valentine Tkach.
Tatum Miller, who is directing "Why We Like Love Stories," written by Steven Gregg, said she had a specific vision in mind while looking for a one-act to direct, and spent a lot of time looking for the right one.
"I wanted to do a dramatic production rather than a comedic one, because those are the types of plays I like acting in, so that's what I felt most comfortable directing. I also knew I wanted to do a romance," Miller said. "This play is brand new. There's only been one other production of it done, so I'll be the second ever. I was really excited to be able to get the rights to it."
Miller said she has enjoyed seeing how her fellow student actors have interpreted the characters in her play.
"It has four very good roles, so it's been fun helping people find their characters," she said. "It totally changes a character — how they move, how they talk — and I've loved to see their take on the characters. It's been amazing watching the show come to life."
Miller and her fellow senior one-act directors said they been working on finding themselves as directors.
"I've been trying to balance helping them while not having too heavy of a hand," Miller said.
Malaika Murphy, who is directing the One Act "K, X, Z, and V" by Ian Williams, said her production centers around human interaction, which has been interesting to learn to direct.
"It's all about relationships between people, and character development. How people interact with each other," Murphy said. "I've enjoyed getting to work with my cast on character development, and taking all of the tools I've learned as an actor and applying them to my actors."
Another part of the process that Murphy has enjoyed is building relationships with her cast in another way. "I love building the family that we have," she said. "We're developing relationships as humans, not just actors."
Senior Valentine (Viv) Tkach is directing the one-act "Sorry, Wrong Number," by Lucille Fletcher, which is a murder mystery with notes of social commentary.
"Basically, a woman overhears plans of a murder when she gets a call from a wrong number. She tries to tell people, but no one believes her," Tkach said. "It's a murder mystery with themes of misogyny, and people not believing women."
Tkach said he has also enjoyed the character development, and exploring different ways to direct his actors. He added that some of the most important aspects of his one-act are not the lines, but the moments of silence.
"The dramatic pauses are so influential to the production," he said. "I've been playing with the delivery, how and when the lines are said. There's one moment where the silence is literally chilling."
While the other one-acts take on a more serious tone, senior Mitch McGonegal wrote a comedy titled "Barry Manilow Lives In The Body of a Widowed 30 Year Old."
"It's about a grieving 30-year-old who has convinced herself, and is trying to convince those around her, that she is in fact Grammy award-winning artist Barry Manilow," he said.
McGonegal was inspired by the type of comedy he enjoys. "I like watching things that make me uncomfortable," he said. "I knew I wanted to convey that."
McGonegal's one-act will be directed by his friend and fellow senior McCall Ranche, who says she was originally going to choose her own production until she read his script.
"We were going to write and direct together, but we each had to do one job," Ranche said. "I really wanted to direct, and he had this great story. It's been super fun."
Ranche said she has enjoyed being able to learn about the importance of a director's choices. "It's super fun being able to make choices I wouldn't get to make as an actor," she said. "I could change the whole scene just by doing one thing."
The final one-act to be performed is called "The Perfect Partnership," written by Shelby Deglan and directed by senior Anya Bouchard.
"An Uncomfortable Evening" will premiere on Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Lake Oswego High School Black Box Theater (2501 Country Club Rd). The show will also run Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at www.eticketexpress.com/event/lohsdrama/oneacts2019/ and at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. The show is not recommended for children under 12.