UIL One-Act stops at area, cast stays positive

Video by Taylor Vowell
Story by Daphne Chen

Original Video – More videos at TinyPic

On April 9 and 10, CHS hosted the area UIL One-Act competition in hopes of advancing their own One-Act, the popular comedy Leading Ladies.

Leading Ladies stars seniors Jacob Harpel and Jake McCready, who play two out-of-work actors who pose as a rich woman’s long lost nieces in order to inherit a fortune. However, over the course of the play, the two imposters start to reevaluate their priorities when one falls in love.

“It was the first time that for One-Act we actually did a comedy rather than a dramatic play so it was kind of a new experience,” Harpel said. “A comedy is a lot harder than a drama because I feel like it’s a lot harder to make someone laugh than to make someone sad, so you have to take into consideration comedic timing and whether or not something looks funny, or appealing to different people’s tastes.”

Leading Ladies was oridignally written by Ken Ludwig, but the challenge of the One-Act competition is that the cast has to cut down the play to 40 minutes, with only seven minutes more to set up the set and seven to take it down.

Coppell was the only school at the area competition to perform a comedy which performed well at the district competition, giving CHS a spot at area. Unfortunately however, Leading Ladies was not chosen to advance to regional.

“There’s six plays competing, and they took two plays to region advancing, and one to be alternate,” assistant director and senior Rachel Humphries said. “We unfortunately didn’t get either one of those. It’s sad because I feel like we worked really hard, I feel like we deserved to advance, but it is what it is. We went in with a really strong play and we did the best that we could, and there wasn’t anything I would change.”

Freshman Alex Smith, who plays a “big and stupid” character named Butch, was the only freshman in the cast, which comprised of mostly veteran junior and senior actors.

“I loved how I got to work together with the pros – I mean, I call them pros – and with people in the department and to learn so much,” Smith said.

Smith says that he was moved by the camaraderie of One-Act. When Flowermound High School, another favorite to advance, was not chosen by the judge, Coppell supported them.

“When Flowermound received their critiques, we stood up and gave them a standing ovation,” Smith said. “Afterwards, when we found out we didn’t advance, we heard a knock on the doors and there was the Flowermound cast, and they started applauding us.”

Despite the disappointment, the cast is still feeling positive about the work they did.

“My favorite part is the feeling you get when you’re backstage because you get to watch the transformation of the actors into the characters they are, and then they come backstage and they’re the people you’ve worked with for he past few months killing yourself to get ready,” Humphries said. “The energy is so high, it’s intoxicating. It’s just an incredible mood and everything’s running and going and you feel like you’re a part of something.”