For the 51st year, the students of North Attleborough High School put together a one-act play festival for students, faculty, and staff alike.
A hushed audience gathered in the Judith E. Cobb Theatre on Jan. 7 to watch three separate plays performed by groups of students from 9th-12th grade. Students also took on the role of ticket vendors, advertisement, set builders, prop and costume designers, lighting and stage crew.
The three plays were all written and directed by students, with some participating in their shows. Jillian Gabriel, the head of the North Attleborough High School theater program, said the pieces were submitted in the summer and fall. Gabriel said the students desired to produce independent plays this year and were proud of the results.
“The students wanted to write and direct something that was their own,” Gabriel said. “And they all agreed it was a rewarding experience.”
The three plays included a period piece titled “Don’t Come Here,” directed by Ashley Candelet and Hannah Graves, a modern-day piece named “The Sleepover,” directed by Lucas Manso and Alexandra Nikou, and a comedy piece titled, “How Not to Rob a Museum,” directed by Mia Gagne and Lauren Mello.
The audience was captivated by the performance of Nia Paul as Vivian in “Don’t Come Here,” as she found herself in a real life situation of the children’s game of mafia—where an individual randomly selects someone to die and the rest of the town has to figure out who it is.
In “The Sleepover,” Nichole Denato and Mia Gomes both endure the horrors of a restless spirit from a Oujia Board, with the rest of the cast trying to find a way to vanquish its soul. According to audience members, “The Sleepover” won the “audience favorite” award at the end of the night.
“It felt like something out of a horror movie,” a student who saw the play said. “I loved how it was put together. I really enjoyed Mia’s performance in the show too, they were really great.”
Of the three plays, “How Not to Rob a Museum” had audiences roaring with laughter, as a band of five incompetent criminals try to pull off a heist to steal a priceless painting from a gallery. Their plans to rob and escape, however, are half-baked at best–whether it be almost killing a security guard named Joe, stealing his clothes, or distracting an equally inept security guard by the name of Seymore.
The audience erupted in laughter, particularly at the performance of Kyle Augustus, a NAHS theater veteran whose body language and reading of the line, “I lick beehives” left everyone in hysterics.
“He was just so funny,” one audience member said. “He’s so talented at what he does that I couldn’t stop laughing.”