By July 30th lines will have been memorized, costumes will have been made, and six one-act plays will be ready to take the stage. Burke Scarbrough has worked with the theater proctor Matthew Geary, and small groups of students rehearsing daily in preparation for their night of showings. There are a total of 22 students performing, including 10 who are also enrolled in the class, Invitation to Theater.
This is one of two acting classes available for students to take during the summer session. The other class, called Acting, teaches the students skills; however if they want to be in a one-act they would have to try out. Mr. Scarbrough describes Invitation to Theater as an opportunity for students to study classical approaches, while also analyzing the scenes they are acting in. They help to design other plays, sets, and costumes, and as he describes it, “The ideas come from the students”
Rather than doing a single, long play, every year the production consists of many shorter, ten-to-fifteen-minute one-act plays that allow students from every experience level to participate. The experience level of the actors ranges from people who have never been on stage before, to people who are looking to pursue acting in college or even as their career.
When deciding which plays to use, Mr. Scarbrough chooses the plays based on the students who have auditioned rather than choosing the students based on the plays. His goal is to have the selection, “make sense for an international audience” and he wants to make them relatable to student life.
As Mr. Scarbrough describes the group of plays, “It’s almost like a variety show, the way the plays come together quickly, they run for a short time, and they’re very often funny… it is a different type of theater than what students tend to have access to at school.”