Students take control of the stage in South’s annual one acts


This poster promoted Senior Caylee Betts original one act, “The 11th Anniversary of Crystal Springs Very Own Annual Simply Southern Sweetheart Pageant.” The one acts were performed on April 12th and 13th. Submitted

By Olivia Svoboda


Every spring, students in the Introduction to Directing class have the opportunity to direct a one act of their choice, whether it be a published production or an original. This spring, three seniors, Riley Berridge, Caylee Betts, and Lizzy Ralston, directed their own one acts. Berridge chose “Oz” by Don Zolidis as her one act, and Ralston chose “Prince Charming’s Complaint” by Bruce Kane. Betts wrote the script for her one act, “The 11th Anniversary of Crystal Springs Very Own Annual Simply Southern Sweetheart Pageant.” The productions were performed on April 12th and 13th in the PAC.

How would you describe your one act?

Berridge: The main character Beth just got over a traumatic experience. Her sister died in a car wreck that she caused. She goes through this paralysis dreamlike state where she goes through the story of “The Wizard of Oz,” and each of the main characters from “The Wizard of Oz” represent a different stage of grief. It’s a dramedy, so it’s really, really funny and super random and has really dumb jokes, but then also deals with the stages of grief and how she’s dealing with it, and it’s really sad.

Betts: The contestants [of the pageant] are so determined that they would do anything to win.

Ralston: You follow Prince Charming as he goes to therapy for his three ex-wives: Rapunzel, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty.

What inspired you to choose/write your one act?

Berridge: I was the last person to choose my one act because I was really picky about what I wanted. I started reading this one and my theater director told me that it was one of his favorites, and that got me excited. I started imagining all the different things I could do with it, and I just fell in love with it.

Betts: About a year ago, I was doing this little skit – it was just for fun. Eventually, I was like, ‘Wait, there [are] short films. Let me just start a short film.” Then, I was like, “Oh, I’m in directing this year. Why not write my own one act?” So, I had written my short film last summer, and I just spruced it up. I didn’t film it or anything, but I just fixed it for the stage.

Ralston: I really like the humor that’s in it, and I have always loved any worlds revolving around fantasy or anything, so I was really drawn to this script.

This poster promoted Senior Riley Berridge’s one act, “Oz,” by Don Zolidis. The one acts were performed on April 12th and 13th. Submitted

How has the directing experience been?

Berridge: It’s been super, super fun. I directed the one acts in eighth grade for my middle school, but this is unlike anything I did there, because I have so much more freedom to be creative, and I have a bigger budget, too. I got to learn so much about how to be a director, how to work with people, and I also got to work with the technical aspect of theater. [It] has been absolutely amazing.

Betts: It’s been great. It’s been really, really fun. It’s really interesting, because I’ve been in theater for a long time, but I’ve never been a director before, so being on the other side is really interesting.

Ralston: It’s been a joy to work with my cast. They’re all so fun to be around. Being able to see everything built up over time is a really fulfilling experience.

What are some challenges you have faced?

Berridge: I have big expectations. I wanted to put on this massive play with a tiny, tiny little budget. I had to at one point realize I wasn’t going to get every single thing I wanted, and I would have to compromise some things.

Betts: Time management for set props and lighting, and directing also, I could have done better with my time management. I’ve really learned a lot about how I phrase things. I could have done better showing my cast how to do things, and this has really taught me how to be like ‘yes, and’ instead of ‘but.’ Also, managing [my cast], having fun, but still focusing, and learning a lot about how to direct.

Ralston: Definitely getting in [to] the lighting or the more technical aspects. I had never done that from an actor’s standpoint, so that was a whole new world. Then, just deciding how I was going to communicate everything I wanted to with my cast.

This poster promoted Senior Lizzy Ralston’s one act, “Prince Charming’s Complaint,” by Bruce Kane. The one acts were performed on April 12th and 13th. Submitted

Do you have a favorite moment?

Berridge: My favorite moment, only because I love the drama of it, is [that] Beth has this big monologue about how her sister died. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, and the actress who plays Beth (Junior Jenna Scranton) just kills it every single time. Her audition actually made me cry, and that’s how she landed the role. So, I was like, ‘Okay, this moment is just so pure and absolutely beautiful.’ It’s hard to love any other part as much as that moment.

Betts: There’s been a lot of favorite moments throughout this whole show. It’s been a really, really fun process and I’m really sad it’s over. Before the show we had a giant 20-minute rap battle. It wasn’t even like, ‘Let’s have a rap battle,’ it just formed.

Ralston: My favorite part is we have a wooden horse that one of our characters gallops on every single time – a little stick horse. It has become, from the beginning of the process to the end, such a big, integral part of the show, and I find it really humorous.

Do you plan on going into directing or theater in the future?

Berridge: I am planning on going into journalism, but I’m going to minor in theater – maybe minor in directing – we’ll see exactly where that takes me. I love theater, but I also have a passion for writing about theater.

Betts: I am definitely going into design and arts and stuff. I’m not sure I’m going to continue with theater. I’m going to [do] fashion design, so I might do some costuming. I’ve been doing theater for a long time, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I went back to it a little bit.

Ralston: I want to major in film direction, so not necessarily on stage, but behind the screen.