Senior Connor Leupp, center, and his fellow cast members practice for the annual Winter One Acts at Perrysburg High School. The show opens Thursday.
The audience will get a unique behind-the-scenes experience from Perrysburg High School students when they present the annual Winter One Acts play over the next two weekends.
The show will be performed in the round in the Perrysburg High School auditorium, which means about 100 chairs will be set on stage for the audience who will face the actors on three sides. It makes every facial gesture and movement easier to observe.
PHOTO GALLERY: Winter One Acts at Perrysburg High
“It is very intimate,” junior actor Sara Miller said. “[The audience] can feel it, too. It is easier to get a sense for their reactions.”
Drama teacher Rob Gentry said the set changes between acts, lighting, and soundboard are all out in the open so the audience can get a feel for how the stage is set up.
Senior actor Connor Leupp said the challenge involved with an audience so close is that at no point can you stop acting — even when you have a small role.
“You have to keep doing stuff,” he said. “You constantly have to stay engaged and in character. It is the most exhausting show, at least mentally. And when audiences laugh when you don’t expect it, it can throw you off.”
Sara Miller, 16, left, and Connor Treece, 16, rehearse ‘Thistle Blossoms,’ one of three Winter One Acts, before fellow theater students at Perrysburg High.
The Winter One Acts always has three acts that are each about 35 to 45 minutes long. This year it includes 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, Thistle Blossoms, and Of Widows and Vegetables. The zombies and vegetables acts are silly and more for entertainment; Thistle Blossoms is a drama about a student considering suicide.
There are 48 actors between the three acts and 35 technical workers behind the scenes. The drama is different for the students who usually perform in funny shows, and the the spring musical.
“It is easy to get laughs, but it is hard to feel pain,” the young Miller said about the drama. “It is the most rewarding, though.”
Fellow junior actor Connor Treece said the drama is the most challenging part as an actor. “You really have to get into character,” he said. “You have to have concentration to get into character and really feel it.”
Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday at 2 p.m. Performances will be held again the following weekend: at 8 p.m. Jan. 30, 31, and Feb. 1, and at 2 p.m., Feb. 2.
Tickets go on sale today. Tickets are $6 or $7 and are available through the high school box office, open Monday through Thursday, 7-8 p.m. All seats are reserved. The Winter One Acts are performed at the high school at 13385 Roachton Rd.