One Acts limits onlookers


Angelica Frude

The cast and crew of RM’s annual One Acts production takes a bow.

RM Black Masker’s annual student-led productions, One Acts, moved to a limited audience for its one night performance on Friday rather than selling tickets. The change was attributed to COVID-19 precautions, as faculty wanted to limit the size of the crowd in the auditorium.

The school’s fall play, Blithe Spirit, took place with a regular audience, but spectators were required to observe COVID safety regulations and wear masks. However, producers and directors were concerned that One Acts had complicating factors like a larger cast and the Omicron variant that were not present for the fall production. “I think the limited seating sucks but I get why it’s necessary,” said running crew member Raya Arora. “I feel like we should have done something more like Blithe spirit though now, because the [Omicron] numbers are going down.”

The event consisted of four plays, “Once Upon a Knight,”  “Setherfield Manor,” “Shmurder Shmystery” and “Inspiration.” Each was written, directed and performed entirely by students. Casts consisted of 6-7 members, and the actors rehearsed together in and out of costume for about two months. “We ended up having a lot of set changes, so we’ve been working really hard with running and props to make sure everything got on stage,” student director Shuxin Dai said.

In the week leading up to the show, Black Maskers held a spirit week. One day was thematically dedicated to each play, finishing with a formal “Bond Day” on shownight. Running crew performed a dance to the song “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus during intermission.

While some cast members initially speculated that the performance would be streamed over Zoom to a live audience, like the school play “Clue” was last year, the show went on with a limited audience size. Rather than selling tickets, members of non tech-week crews, like the publicity department, and school teachers and staff members were invited to the event. Each crew member was given an extra ticket, and actors were given two, to invite an audience member of their choice. “I think there’s supposed to be around 225 people showing up, our very big fans, it’s a really fun family atmosphere,” Arora said.

The performance was recorded by videographers, and will be available for purchase on a CD. 

“For safety reasons, it’s obviously better to have limited seating, but it is a little unfortunate that we don’t get to have a big audience this year, because all the actors and people on the crew worked really hard to put the show together,” Dai said.