Behind the scenes of a show with only one scene
One set, ten actors. Who said it couldn’t be done? As you may or may not know, every year, Lakeville North puts on a one-act production during the wintertime. For those of you who have no idea what a one-act is, a one-act production is, in short, a production with one act. It sounds pretty simple, right? Yet in reality, large contributions of hard work and dedication are required.
This year, North’s theater department has decided to reenact the story of a blind, deaf, and mute child, Helen Keller, titled The Miracle Worker. Many people have heard Helen’s story, however, this experience provides another layer of emotion to the story. Even with the lead role unable to speak, the story was recited perfectly, a miracle indeed.
Freshman Evan Bowen has taken part in the production as Dr. Anagos, Ms. Annie Sullivan’s teacher before she left to help Helen.
“It felt absolutely fantastic, especially being someone who wasn’t on stage all the time,” Bowen said. “I was able to watch the show be molded and created and just see a 35 minute production become completely stunning; something we could all be proud of.”
A production like this certainly doesn’t happen in one night. To be “proud” of something oftentimes is the result of diligence and practice, accomplishing something greater than the limits allow. Even a production as short as 35 minutes boosted a great amount of pride in each cast member.
Olivia Seeley, who starred as Helen Keller, explains how everyone in the cast brought tenacity and valor to each rehearsal.
“I’m so proud of everyone who was involved in this production,” Seeley says. “All of the long nights in the theater and tough practices were worth every second. We never thought going into this show that we would make it to state level, but we made it a goal among the entire cast, worked as a team, and accomplished our goal.”
Imagine being unable to look someone straight in the eye, lacking any control over concentration, being completely unaware of your surroundings. Even though Seeley still had her sight and hearing, having to adjust to Helen Keller’s conditions was proven to be quite an arduous task.
“Developing the character was a major challenge,” Seeley explains. I had to learn how to express the emotions that Helen was feeling by using sounds, facial expressions, and body language rather than words. It was difficult at first to completely eliminate my sight and hearing. Our director made me do multiple exercises to replicate what it would feel like for Helen to do such minor tasks like walking into the house or feeling her way around a room.”
As eye-opening as it was for the audience, Olivia found herself feeling the same way.
“While playing this role, I gained a lot of knowledge about Helen Keller’s story and her real life experiences that I did not know before,” Seeley said. “I learned how differently she had to live her life compared to mine.”
Both of these actors encourage bold decisions and confidence. Most actors do. No matter who you ask, they’ll agree that talent can only take you so far, but determination is the admirable trait that will get you places. In some cases, determination can even create miracles.
As Seeley puts it, “Make bold decisions, be creative, and most importantly enjoy your time in theater!”