Seniors Abby James, Dorian Washington debut directing careers with senior directed one acts

Students can buy tickets to senior directed one acts online at for April 27-28, at 7 P.M. Tickets are cheaper in advance rather than online.

Senior directed one acts are returning after a two year hiatus due to the global pandemic and Parkway North Thespians are buzzing with excitement for the shows.

Senior Abby James debuts her directing career through the witty and fast paced romantic comedy “A Mother In My Head”, a 45 minute show which follows two young adults as they navigate their love lives as they are narrated by the “mothers in their heads”. 

“I was looking for a romantic show that had more than just two people. I found a few that worked, but reading this one gave me butterflies. I could imagine exactly what the show would look like from the start of reading the script,” said James.

Senior directed one acts are an opportunity for students to portray their creativity in a new way while also giving the chance to communicate with friends and family through theater, just in a different medium than they might be used to.
“The show’s message is letting your children live their own lives and I thought it was the perfect way to kind of say my goodbyes to my parents as I move on with the next stage of my life. It’s perfectly bittersweet,” said James.

James has been acting in school productions since middle school and has been a troupe officer for three years and while she is knowledgeable about the theater department, the shift from actor to director comes with its own struggles.

“It’s a lot harder than acting to direct. There are so many people that you depend on and if they don’t follow through then your shows gonna fail. You learn a lot about how to talk to people and how to treat people, especially because people take criticism differently. These people don’t have to be here working with me and I’m really thankful that they are and I have to stay on their good side,” said James.

“The Proposal” is a Russian one act Play written in the late 1800’s by Anton Chekhov and for this production being directed by senior Dorian Washington. The show follows a 35-year-old wealthy Seniors Abby James and Dorian Washington Debut Directing Careers With Senior Directed One Actsbachelor named Lomov who is in search of a wife. Amidst a marriage proposal to his neighbor, the two face different arguments and disagreements in which Lomov learns a great deal of information about himself and the world around him. 

“I landed on this show because I wanted a comedy but I didn’t want something modern or something similar to any of the shows done at any of the other high schools in our area. It’s really funny and directing it has been such a good experience for me,” said Washington.

Washington has been acting in school productions since middle school but has also been a floater through other backstage crews, so the behind the scenes work is nothing new to him.

“Directing is definitely different from anything I have ever done before. I’m most comfortable with acting, but I did costumes for the fall production so I’m used to not being on stage. The biggest shift was going from the one that is doing work for the director to being the one working with different crews in order to get things done. It can get overwhelming, but everybody has made it so easy for me and I absolutely love the people that have been spending their time working to help me put on a good show,” said Washington. 

Senior directed one acts are a yearly tradition that thespians look forward to participating in whether that means directing, acting, or backstage work. 

“Ever since I was a freshman I knew I wanted to be a part of the one acts, I never knew I would be directing though. I always pictured myself acting but once I got the opportunity to direct I knew I would regret not taking it. The whole production is so fun and I love how much freedom I have to really make the show my own,” said Washington.

One acts are even a special festivity for theater students of all grades who get to be involved. The productions are an important time to make lasting memories with upperclassmen for their last shows before they graduate.

“I’ve been involved in every production since my freshman year and I’ve been working with these people for so long, I can’t imagine them not being here. These last few weeks have been so much fun and it hasn’t really hit me yet that next year I could be a senior director and Abby and Dorian won’t be here,” said junior and costume crew lead Amelie Vogt.