Plays set to be performed next week

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: DAVID KINDER - The cast of Lake Oswego High School's production of one act plays pauses to pose and smile.Describing the one act plays on tap at Lake Oswego High School next week could be done in numbers: eight student directors, eight plays (two of which are student written), three nights of dramedy.

Every year, LOHS seniors pull out the proverbial director’s chair and megaphone and put on a set of one acts performed one after the other each night of the production. Students are performing on a plethora of topics, including drugs, tests and intelligent chimpanzees. The production is not recommended for children younger than 12.

PJ Harris directs “This is a Test,” about student test anxiety, but, though she relished the experience, she also had her own anxiety when it came to guiding her student actors.

“As a friend, it’s terrifying to do so because you love them, and you don’t want to make them upset,” Harris said.

Natalie Arakelian said she chose to explore her directorial skills with “Drugs Are Bad” because “it got to show everyone’s acting abilities and also their ability for humor.” It’s about a boy who prefers studying to sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, disappointing his parents.

Arakelian added that parents and teens alike will warm to the comedy and the whole show.

“I think people will enjoy every (play); they’re all good,” she said.

“The Philadelphia,” directed by Austin Ellerbruch, is about New Yorkers chatting in a diner, and one of the characters, Mark, is having a bad day. A friend tells him it’s because metaphysically he’s in Philadelphia.

“Reality is chaotic, and you don’t know how the next (scene) is going to go,” Ellerbruch said. “It’s a bunch of realities all pressed into one.”

Hannah Boe, who is an officer for educational theater group Oregon Thespians, takes the reins in “Words, Words, Words,” which, like “The Philadelphia,” first appeared as one of a compilation of one acts in playwright David Ives’ “All in the Timing.” “Words” centers on a trio of smart chimpanzees expected to write “Hamlet.”

Director Reilly Quinn said he liked the crazy, over-the-top quality of “From the Mouths of Babes” and enjoyed taking charge.

“This is a great way to end my high school career, being a leader, not a follower,” Quinn said.

In “10 Reasons Not to Be in a Play,” Elena Gomes shortens a play that had a few more reasons to avoid drama, including early traumas involving an elementary school teacher.

“Great Artists Steal,” a work that Steve Rathje wrote and is directing, is about trust, forgiveness and exploring the notion that artists are re-creating all that has happened before. Rathje earned third place for his script and 102 out of 105 points for the performance of his play at the Oregon Thespians’ state festival last week.

“A Play for One,” directed and written by Adam Grace, is about what happens when your life is really a play.

Bob McGranahan, LOHS drama teacher, said all the students worked hard and both student-written plays are fabulous.

Any Rathje play will be “thoughtful, and it’s going to have some sort of intellectual backbone to it, and also some kind of nice heart to it, and Adam’s is really just a lovely farce,” McGranahan said.

How to attend

When: 7 p.m. April 17 to 19

Where: LOHS Black Box Theatre, 2501 Country Club Road

Cost: $8 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors

To buy advance tickets, visit

By Jillian Daley
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