One Act wins M.I.F.A. States with modern “Twelfth Night” show


Senior Molly Hearsch walks across the stage during rehearsal as One Act practices for Strike, working with her fellow students for the quickest takedown possible. Strike is a segment of the competition where the troupe is timed while taking down their set.

Lights flood the auditorium as One Act took to the stage, setting up their set as the clock started ticking. 

The One Act production took part in the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association One Act State Competition, where schools from Michigan performed a 45 minute show that was shortened down from two hours for judges. They were judged based on acting, directing, technical skills and their set, as well as their set up and take down time for the set production.

They performed the play “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare, which is a comedy originally set in the 15th century. But the troupe did something different to their show by setting it in the 1920’s. This was seen in the set, which was a coastal house with Art Nouveau themes.

The students worked together not just in acting, but also with backstage roles. These roles include set creation, props, lighting and sound.

Student Technical Director Khushi Gooroochurn heads all the technical aspects of the production, including any questions fellow troupe members may have about the production and how it was being produced.

“One Act is very student-led, so if people have questions like ‘What are we doing?’, ‘How are we doing this?’, they come to me and the student directing team,” Gooroochurn said. 

“Mother Hicks” was the last One Act show the department performed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Gooroochurn said recreating the glory of the pre-pandemic show has been hard for the troupe. 

“Having to create a show as grand as ‘Mother Hicks’ with only a sixth of the budget and probably a sixth of the people has definitely been a struggle,” Gooroochurn said.

The struggles between shows weren’t only present backstage. Senior Christina Pilch said that the actors also had some struggles with reciting the Shakespearean lines of the play. 

“I have never done Shakespeare before, so at the beginning it was very difficult to remember my lines since I was like ‘What am I even saying?’,” Pilch said. “I had to put some research and time into understanding what’s happening in the scene and what the story is.”

Senior Molly Hearsch said the cast had to learn to understand what their lines meant so that they could inflict proper tones in their voice during their scenes. This learning process also included repetition, which helped the actors memorize and understand their lines.

This led to the troupe earning a superior award for their “Shakespearean Prowess”. 

“Shakespeare is something that you can really work with, and change and mold and interpret,” Gooroochurn said.

The theatre department went on to win first place at M.I.F.A. One Act State Competition along with eighteen superior rankings in different areas of work, beating seven other schools.