Treading the Boards at Miramonte: Four One Acts and a Choral Concert

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(Jeff Heyman, Photographer)
Front row (L-R) Lindsay Fontes and Nina Fontes, back row Alice Ball, Natalie Clauson, Chris Ionascu and Emi Hamiti are gearing up to perform four “Spring One Acts” to be performed April 26-29 at Miramonte High School. 

    Miramonte High School musical and drama events scheduled for April begin with a free concert at St. Mary’s Chapel April 20, while also featuring four original, all-student “One Act” plays on campus, April 26 – 29, 7 – 9 p.m.
    Music Teacher Meredith Hawkins will lead three Miramonte choruses in the concert April 20 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The 60 singers, from grades 9 through 12, along with instrumentalists, will perform separately and together with solo and small ensemble performances included.
    Hawkins said the music they have chosen shows off the wonderful acoustics of St. Mary’s Chapel. “Unaccompanied choral music was made for spaces like this. It takes the music and just elevates it, making for a really special experience for the singers and the audience,” said Hawkins.
    Attendees will hear a wide range of music from traditional hymns in Latin to songs from South Africa and Haiti, contemporary choral music and African-American spirituals.
    “Thanks are due Colleen O’Healy da Silva and the crew at St. Mary’s for making this concert possible, Orinda ONE for supporting choral music at Miramonte and, of course, the many students involved in our program,” Hawkins added.
    Heather Cousins, Miramonte Theater arts director, said the students take pride in their work.
    “We’ve been doing the ‘One Act’ project for five years. They’ve become popular because the students have a tremendous amount of ownership over them. Each play is treated with full production value, as in lighting designers, set designers, hair and makeup, props and costumes,” said Cousins.
    She said each play gets a team of about 20 students and is 45 minutes in length. Each night two plays are performed so each play has two performances.
    The plays go through a process before being chosen. Advanced drama students write project proposals and speak with great passion about their projects and concepts. The proposals are voted on and the playwright has to write a short scene. The scene becomes a staged reading. Each “One Act” is student-written and student-directed.
    The theme this year is “Somewhere in Between.” For more information about Miramonte’s Music and theater activities, visit their calendar at https://bit.ly/3ioZXfY.
    Last year – in a nod to the pandemic times – the Miramonte thespians waited until after school let out to perform their “One Acts” outdoors at Cal Shakes. This took place during summer with pandemic masks on. The theme, fittingly, was, “The Masks We Wear.”
    This year, all involved are happy to say masks are optional for performers who will be back on their home stage at Miramonte.
    Look for tickets to see Blood and Roses, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, The 42nd Biennial Meatloaf Eating Contest and Getting Away with Accidental Murder at www.showtix4u.com.

Elana O’Loskey can be reached at business.orinda@gmail.com.

(Jeff Heyman, Photography)
Miramonte High School student actors (L-R) Nina Fontes, Lindsay Villamor, Christian Ionascu, Alice Ball, Emi Hamiti and Natalie Clauson, rehearse one of four “Spring One Acts” for April 26-29 performances. Each original, 45-minute play uses the theme “Somewhere in Between.” Advanced drama students, including actors, directors and a full stage crew, worked together to produce the shows.

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