One Act Play Contest
Student actors perform a scene from "Worth Our Wait" by Tara McCulloch '17

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During President's Day weekend, Whitman's Harper Joy Theatre performed its annual One Act Play Contest, showcasing student-submitted work to be judged by the audience.

One Acts

This year marked the 27th One Act Play Contest. Professor of Physics, Emeritus Craig Gunsul started the One Act Play Contest because he thought Whitman needed more opportunities for students to be creative. More than other Harper Joy shows, the One Acts are an extremely imaginative process because they are completely student-written, student-directed and student-designed. In past years, Gunsul had a lot of oversight and involvement in selecting the plays, but in order to better enjoy his retirement, he passed that responsibility along to the theatre department. The process is now completely student-driven. 

Production Manager Natalie Berg '16 said, "My favorite part of the One Acts is the sense of community they create. A large number of students, many of whom do not have much theater experience, come together and put in tremendous hard work to create these three plays, and become good friends in the process."

This year, the plays ranked as follows:

First Place Winner: The Incredible True Story of Corn Dog Millionaire by Troy Warwick '16
Second Place Winner: Worth Our Wait by Tara McCulloch '17
Third Place Winner: boating school. by Drew Schoenborn '17

Warwick had been working on Corndog Millionaire for the past seven years.

One Acts

"The One Acts are unique in that everyone involved is a student," he said. "So we have students running all the staging and lighting and such, as well as directing and writing and acting and dancing. The vote is also decided by students and the audience. Because of this, the One Acts bring the larger Whitman community into the theater, and that's awesome and powerful."

Second place winner McCulloch was a first-time writer for the One Acts.

"It was lovely to see a full production of my work on stage," she said of her play Worth Our Wait. "Everyone who worked on the play did such a fantastic job-the acting was phenomenal, the costumes were spectacular and the set was exquisite. I feel very grateful to have had so many brilliant people working on this play."