The cast of Chatfield High School's One Act Play rehearses for subsection competition. In front is Rayna Lawson. In second row are Isaiah Redalen, Mary Burshem, Michael Hrstka and Destiny Schultz. In third row are Jacob Cain, Elizabeth Schieffelbein, Maria Lawson and Lauren Mueller. In back is Noah Lacey.
GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
The cast of Chatfield High School's One Act Play rehearses for subsection competition. In front is Rayna Lawson. In second row are Isaiah Redalen, Mary Burshem, Michael Hrstka and Destiny Schultz. In third row are Jacob Cain, Elizabeth Schieffelbein, Maria Lawson and Lauren Mueller. In back is Noah Lacey. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS

On “Second Thought,” it’s very dramatic as the Chatfield drama students get their one-act together.

 “They’re performing ‘On Second Thought,’ which is an original script by me,” stated Rachel Schieffelbein, Chatfield High School’s one-act play director and playwright.

The drama students have been preparing for the annual one-act play competition, for which they traveled to the conference tournament on Saturday, Jan. 20, and proceeded to subsection competition this past Saturday. The students will also hold a public performance in the Chatfield Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 10.

She explained, “Each kid has to play multiple characters, and they play each other’s ‘thoughts,’ so they’ve had to work together to create the character, which I think has been a unique challenge. I think they’ve enjoyed playing with different characters. These kids are multitalented and can handle pretty much any script I throw at them. This script is a comedy, but it has some touching moments at the end, as well.”

The cast and crew of “On Second Thought” involve 14 students. The cast includes Lauren Mueller, Isaiah Redalen, Zach Clement, Destiny Schultz, Rayna Lawson, Michael Hrstka, Mary Burshem, Reigns Caradine, Jake Cain and Elizabeth Schieffelbein. Chris Solie is working lights and sound, Eleanor Hedrick is doing makeup, and Noah Lacey is the stage manager.

Schieffelbein added, “We have four seniors in the cast, and they’re incredibly talented. Our next-oldest students are ninth graders. That’s a pretty big gap, but they’re talented as well, and they’re learning from the seniors. I’m very proud of all of them.”

Costuming and set are relatively simple due to the need to be able to transport them and set up the stage very easily to meet the one-act contest time limits.

“The set is very simple, as we wanted something that would be easy to transport, and the costumes…each character is played by two people, one representing the actual person, and one representing their thoughts, so we purchased matching attire for them,” Schieffelbein explained.

The director has helped stage other Chatfield productions, but never before has she been the district’s one-act director. “This is my first time directing for one-act competition, so I’ve been learning as I go,” she said. “One-act is more difficult than a multi-act show because you want to get a whole story across, with the same emotional impact, but you have less time to do it. It’s challenging working on a different stage every weekend, but the kids learn to be flexible. They learn from performing, and listening to critiques from the judges, but also by watching the other schools’ plays. There’s so much talent in our area, and we can learn a lot from each other. They competed at conference last Saturday, where they got some great laughs and some great feedback. We’re excited to compete at subsections on the (Jan.) 27th.” 

Schieffelbein credits her student thespians and her assistant director, Laurie Byrne, with making the dramatic venture great fun.

“I am directing this show with the help of Laurie Byrne. Having her onboard has been a huge help. She’s great with the kids and brings new ideas to the table,” she added.

Lastly, Schieffelbein issued an invitation for the public to take in “On Second Thought” at Potter Auditorium in the Chatfield Center for the Arts (CCA) on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m.