“Miss Beth” excels at One Acts


Emily Dever

Lexi Nieto wins the Best Comic Supporting Actress Minor award.

“Places, everyone, places.”

The nervous energy of fifteen Academy girls translated into silence in the wings of USF’s theater in the afternoon of December 11, just moments before they were set to begin performing.

“And now we present troupe 0846, Academy of the Holy Names, Miss Beth.”

A simultaneous exhale echoed through the cast members as the stage manager spoke into her headset.

“Thunder and lightning cues go.”

Everyone was silent as the thunder rang through the building and senior Megan Glogowski walked to the spotlight center stage, delivering her first line. This past December, the cast and crew of Academy’s “Miss Beth” competed in the Florida State Thespian’s District 9 One Act Competition, bravely starting off the performances of the three-day festival held at USF. The year-old troupe was presented with a large task to accomplish- they were being asked to bring the energy, excitement, and laughs necessary for opening up the competition, in only 40 minutes. As the girls cheered on stage, performing the routines they had practiced for weeks on end, the audience cheered along with them.

Getting right into the depth of the play, the girls delivered line after line, unfolding the story of Beth, the modern-day, cheerleader version of Macbeth. The girls had witnessed a large turnout at their performance of the play at Academy, and were feeling confident. When the last line was delivered, Megan Glogowski was dragged off stage, and everything was put back in place, time was called and a collective sigh travelled through the cast. Everyone shared a group hug right before they walked back to the changing room and cleaned up, all while chattering excitedly over the amazing performance.

Finally done with their performance, the troupe could now enjoy the rest of the competition, watching other schools perform a variety of one acts and making friends with those around them. One such friend is Matthew Sprouse, a senior at Chamberlain high school. Performing for a few years at the competition, he always looks forward to the competition.

“I really loved seeing the different shows from all the schools,” he reminisced, “especially the hard work that went into Wharton’s ‘The Grimm Conclusion’. There was a wide range in types of shows, from hilarious comedy to serious drama. It kept me very amused and entertained.”

Junior Sydney Coleman, a recent transfer from Gaither, is another veteran to the one act festival. Performing with a new troupe for the first time, she got to witness the sisterhood of the Academy girls firsthand – highly praising it.

“It was an awesome experience. The girls were all extremely talented and it was a lot of fun working with them. When I came to the theater, I immediately felt like I found a home. Everyone was so nice to me and never made me feel isolated or like I was ‘the new girl’.”

Sydney also saw a difference in her time between the two schools, sharing with us-

“There is definitely a huge difference between the years I’ve been [acting]. As a freshman, I obviously had smaller speaking roles. I also feel like it was a lot more stressful at Gaither. A lot of the actors I worked with thought they were better than everyone else. Here at Academy, there are some actresses who clearly lead the pack, but they are humble and modest. Theater at Academy is definitely a lot more fun. It’s a more comfortable environment.”

Nearly everyone in the cast of Miss Beth were newbies when it came to the One Act competition, adding to the pressure of opening the weekend. A senior and the lighting technician in the show, Colleen McInerney, was able to attest to this firsthand.

“I did feel some pressure from competition. I mean, my role wasn’t as important as the actors, but I wanted to get it right so that we could go to States [festival]. It was nice to see everyone working together as a cast and a team determined to do well as one. Because of my job, I got to watch the play and the audience as well, and everyone loved it, which makes me proud.”

Only the top five Superior judged one acts would be showcased at the State festival in March. Unfortunately, Academy did not make the cut, but they did take home a large trophy, receiving an Excellent from the judges (just below a superior), as well as having a cast member, junior Lexi Nieto, take home the Best Comic Supporting Actress Minor award.

“I’m really proud of our performance,” Sydney commented. “In all honesty, I thought we should have received a superior, but apparently the judges disagreed. Regardless, I think we put on a great show, made everyone laugh and had a great time doing it, and that’s really all that matters.”

Colleen agreed with her, explaining that she really enjoyed One Acts overall, no matter what grade they received.

“I really enjoyed [it] because the kids, and adults, and the theater community in general was very warm and welcoming and appreciative of everyone’s efforts. It was amazing to see such talent in all those young people.”

Academy girls will be traveling to the State festival to perform pieces from the Individual Event competition held in October,. To celebrate and watch the best of high school theater from around the state, and to attend workshops to strengthen their own abilities. The one-acts representing District 9 at States will be from Wharton, Alonso, Riverview, King, and Steinbrenner.

To get a little taste of what One Acts are like, enjoy a small video summary of competition from 2012, in preparation for State Festival.