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Frances Kelsey students write and direct one-act plays for two-day festival

Four one-act student driven plays will be performed at Mill Bay’s FKSS theatre on May 9 and 10

Four Frances Kelsey Grade 12 theatre students are donning director caps for the one-act play festival that will run on May 9 and 10.

There will be four one-act plays in total with two performed on each day.

“I have been offering keen Grade 12 students the opportunity to direct a short play for many years,” said theatre teacher Anna Roberts. “Our four student directors are Alexandra Hamilton, Jack Cameron, Nathan Power, and Evan Lush. These are grads who have been in the theatre program at Frances Kelsey Secondary School for five years and have performed in many productions and have demonstrated a passion for theatre in all its forms. Because there are so many student directors this year, we have the opportunity to have performances on multiple nights. They are very excited to share their work.”

READ MORE: Frances Kelsey Secondary School presents musical Once Upon A Mattress

The festival kicks off on May 9 with The Temple at 4:30 p.m., which is written and directed by Alexandra Hamilton. This eerie tale is an adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s short story of the same name and is set in a German U Boat, while exploring the themes of guilt and the precariousness of the human condition. Divine drama continues with The Laundromat at 7 p.m. which is written by Timothy Cameron, and directed by Jack Cameron. This play follows the story of two young queer men discussing early life dilemmas about love and friendship in a very raunchy way. These plays have some mature content and are not suitable for all audiences.

“It has been such an interesting learning experience going from an actor to a director and I’ve learned many things that I can transfer into the rest of my life,” said Hamilton. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned has been asking for help from other people and letting others take responsibility for pieces of my vision.”

On May 10, the festival continues in a fun and family friendly way with two more one-act plays suitable for all ages starting at 7 p.m., with The Interdimensional Bar written and directed by Nathan Power. It’s a space farce that will take attendees on a rollicking and confounding journey through intergalactic conflicts and relationships. This will be followed up by The Great Greek Olympiaganza which is written by Don Zolidis, and directed by Evan Lush. The final play of the festival is a retelling of Greek myths in a slightly twisted manner that has high energy meet high drama in a hilarious romp.

“Frances Kelsey Secondary students have been directing their own one act plays for many years,” said Roberts. “I am so pleased when the leadership of our Grade 12 students is strong enough to bring four plays to completion. These plays are very much student led and the work is all their own. I provide advice and guidance, but these plays belong to the students. I hope all the students involved in these productions will have a positive experience in which they have felt part of a community of like minded learners. Students in these plays forge lifelong friendships and develop skills that can go beyond just the theatre.”

The festival will run out of the theatre at Mill Bay’s Frances Kelsey School located at 953 Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Rd., and attendees can enter through the side of the building. A $10 donation per person for admission is suggested. All ticket sales will go entirely to recovering costs of the production. Roberts said that if they make profit it will go towards the upkeep of equipment.

“This is one of my favourite events as a theatre teacher. After working with these kids for years and years, it is such a joy to see them utilizing skills and maturity to make these enormous projects come to fruition,” said Roberts. “Student directors are gaining real life leadership skills to pull these plays together and I couldn’t be prouder of them. I hope attendees have a wonderful time, are entertained, and leave with an appreciation of the work that the students have dedicated to these projects.”