BHS One Act put on their final performance on February 8, after placing fourth in Sections in Andover High School on February 5.
This year, Buffalo decided on performing Alice In Wonderland, a comedy. Director Nick Lostetter thought to choose a comedy this season because of the rough year outside of theatre. A lighter show could be representative of a break from everything happening in the world.
Many of the cast and crew members considered it a risk to perform a comedy, believing that the judges often prefer tragedies.
“We used to do drama,” said Harper Lostetter ‘25, “because tragedy is a very linear topic, and everyone can get along with tragedy. Comedy has so many different levels, and not everyone finds the same thing funny. So this year, we took a bit of a turn. I don’t know if the judges liked it all that much.”
In most activities, points are amassed by clear-cut rules. In competitive arts like One Act, a panel of judges determines the fate of the teams. This can sometimes prove more difficult than activities like basketball and Knowledge Bowl, because your score depends almost entirely on if the judges like your performance.
“[One Act] is subjective,” said Olivia Thomes ‘22. “If you learn the formula, if you learn exactly what the judges want and what they’re looking for, you can play the game much better. Though that means you have a limited box, you can’t do everything that you want to do. If you want to do a widely experimental show, you know that you are running the risk of a judge who likes classical theater despising your show and giving you the lowest score possible.”
This can make scores confusing for both the judges and performers. At Sections, the judges could not agree on how to rank the performances.
“The judges were all over the place. No two judges gave the same show for this,” said Director Tracy Hagstrom Durant. “When that happens, it will oftentimes propel a kind of mid-level show forward. The two shows that got second and first at Sections were the two lowest rated shows at Subsections. I can’t explain that.”
Despite the confusion and frustration that came with the competition at Sections, Buffalo One Act had a positive experience this year. Many cast and crew members believed the group was a lot more humble compared to last year, which made the season more enjoyable.
“I think when you’re at the top for so long,” said Olivia Telecky ‘24, “you sometimes forget how much it took for you to get there. This year, since we have so many new people, it was never assumed that we would make it super far, as opposed to last year […] You need a good attitude. You need to have good sportsmanship, man.”