Following a successful and entertaining year of HHS Drama Club performances, which included the Variety Show and the musical, Once Upon a Mattress, Harrisburg students recently performed the one-act. With only one month to prepare, the cast and crew of thirty-five, assigned roles in late December, attended rehearsal every day until the final performance; student director Neil Peltier commented, “Time is everything, and we want to be improving the show with each rehearsal.” Actors began rehearsal at the beginning of January with their part already memorized.
The one-act differs from other performances because at the end of January, the entire cast and crew traveled to and competed in the One-Act Festival, which took place in Aberdeen this year. Autymn Spyksma, fellow student direct and actress, acknowledged the unique challenges that accompany such an event: “For one-act, we have to practice taking on and off the entire set as well as staying within time.” Because a panel of judges critiques the show, the cast and crew must be diligent in making sure that the timing and script accuracy of the show are impeccable.
Unlike past years, however, this year’s one-act, The Greatest Show, Man, was student- written rather than purchased. Autumn and Neil wrote the script over the past several months. Spyksma clarified what that meant for this show: "We can add and change as many pieces of the play as we want and also have the original interpretation of the script, so we know exactly what it should look like.” Cast member Lexi May agreed that having free reign over the characters made the production much more fun and special.
Peltier clarified the subject of the production: "The Greatest Show, Man is about Steve and Robert, who have to write a script for a Broadway show in one day in order to keep from getting whacked by the mob.” The cast and crew performed the show once the last week of January before attending the One-Act Festival during the first weekend of February. Unfortunately, they could not perform at the second show due to the cold weather. At the One-Act Festival, the performance achieved a Class AA Play Superior Award, and Autumn Spyksma, Carter Jackson, Grant Tiede, Rylin Yerdon, and Elisabeth Ocegeda won Class AA Individual Superior awards.