Drama prepares for one-acts in new theater


Gaby Benelyahu

DEVISING: Ezra Fax, Eitan Schramm and Tania Bohbot work with Ms. Chase to produce two of the five one-act plays.

By Rose Lipner and Sadie Toczeck

In some ways, this fall brings a re-birth to Shalhevet’s drama department.

After a year with no theater at all, when it adapted by using rented or improvised spaces, the group opens its first season in the new building with one-acts in the fall instead of in the spring, and the school’s first-ever musical after Pesach.

The new Wildfire Theater is located behind the auditorium. It will use the auditorium’s stage – separated from the gym by the familiar white-metal roll-up curtain —  and the black-walled Hashkama davening room for the audience.  Tiered rows of chairs will be rented for the performances, which are set for Dec. 17, 20 and 21. 

“There’s a large stage with the possibility of good lighting and audio-visual effects,” said drama teacher Ms. Emily Chase. “It’s much newer and cleaner than our old, dilapidated space.”

There are still some things the drama department has yet to figure out.

“We don’t know if we’ll put in permanent seats or find ‘flex’ seating,” said Ms. Chase. 

Ms. Chase has not announced what musical the group will perform, but said the switch to one-acts in the fall  makes the musical possible.

She’s looking for one at the right level of musical difficulty, with a meaningful theme and that is an adaptation of something famous.  

“A musical requires more preparation, so I chose to reverse the order,” said Ms. Chase.

As always, the Festival of One-Acts will present five original plays by Shalhevet students, this year centered around the theme of forging identities. Genres will vary from sci-fi thrillers to comedy.

The drama department also hired theater professionals to work with the cast and crew, including a stand-up comedy expert a set, light and video designer, and a professional stage manager.

 “It takes a lot of experts to pull together a strong evening of theater,” said Ms. Chase. 

 “Going Out the Door,” by sophomore Aviva Katz, is about a religious girl trying to convince her mom to let her go to college despite their family ideals. 

“The Anomaly,” by senior Eitan Schramm, is a sci-fi thriller that focuses on a futuristic agency that detects anomalies in different universes to protect the timeline. 

“Behind Her Mask,” by freshman Donna Grunfeld, is about facing one’s inner demons. Juniors Bennett Schnier and Alex Silberstein wrote “The Untitled Comedy,” a comedy, and “Art For Art’s Sake” is by junior Tania Bohbot.