Drama hosts One-Act Play Competition

The Drama Department hosted the West 5A OSSAA Regional One-Act Play Competition on Saturday, Oct. 13 in the high school auditorium. This competition has been high on drama students’ radar, according to  sophomore Rilyn Martin, who understudied for, and ended up playing Speaker No.5.

“We’ve been preparing for One-Acts since pretty much the beginning of the semester,” Martin said.

While the idea of a one-act play may seem simple in comparison to the larger productions the department normally puts on, they present their own unique challenges. A prominent challenge for students was the time limit placed upon them. Teams had only 45 minutes to put up their set, perform their play, and tear down their set. Senior Kurt Shirvinski believes this obstacle did end up having its advantages, however.

“When you get people in the mind set that they have to get things done in a time limit, their brains start working faster, almost like their on an adrenaline rush,” Shirvinski said.

The play Duncan students put on was called “The Empty Chair.” Written by Tim Kelly, this play showcases a teen group therapy session for substance abusers. Members of this therapy group are grieving over the recent death of a member who died of a drug overdose. Drama coach Ron Sullivan revealed a major factor in him choosing this particular play was its message, as he feels substance abuse is a big issue in today’s society that can’t be swept under the rug.

“The message was timely,” Sullivan said.

This play conveyed a powerful message about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Students gave it all to their performance, moving some audience members to tears.

“This play is definitely more hard hitting than any others we’ve done before,” Martin said. “It’s definitely on a more touchy subject.”

The delivery of this hard hitting message won juniors Alayna Propest and Samantha Towell best actor awards. While Duncan students put on a moving production, they did not win first place overall. That victory went to Ardmore, with Duncan coming in fourth place. Students took the loss hard, having been very excited for the competition, but supported each other throughout it. Sullivan took this loss in stride, as this was the second One-Act Play Competition Duncan students have ever participated in. He feels they have come very far from last year where they placed fifth by a wide margin, and hopes for the department to continue to grow in this artistic method and as a whole.

“This is only my second year with the program, but if we continue to grow, like we did from last year to this year, I see a future of great things for our student actors,” Sullivan said. “It will not be long until other schools dread facing DHS in competition!”

The drama department as a whole considers this loss a growing pain and looks forward to using what they learned in the judges critiques to do their best in all things in the future. Drama students consider themselves a family and feel the memories they are making together are of most importance. “[Drama is] really fun,” Martin said. “You’re introduced to a similar group of people and you really do become like a little family.”

And from supporting each other through wins and losses, to playing games and taking goofy pictures together, they really are a little family.

Duncan actors come together during a climatic point in their performance. They had just acted out a dramatic therapy session.