A Class Act: One Act Competition


Zoe Terry, Writer

Our very own Cartersville Highschool drama program performed “Wiley and the Hairy Man” at One Act competition on October 21st.

The show takes place in a mysterious swamp where a young fatherless boyhis magical mother, and loyal dog try to defeat the infamous Hairy Man, who haunts Wiley’s dreams. Through rhythm and rhyme, Wiley has to learn to conquer the Hairy Man and his own fear.  

I sat down with theater teacher Diana Long, who has been teaching for twenty-four years, to gain some insight into what One Act is.

“The One Act Competition falls under the GHSA sport(s) and literary competitions in Georgia. We take the cast and play once a year to compete against other schools in the region.” The group competes with six or seven other schools in region — which means the same schools that compete with ours in football or basketball or soccer, those are the schools making up One Act competition. 

The energy at One Act is like a football game. There are “theater kids rooting for theater kids,” and “everybody knows how much hard work goes into preparing for this performance. You get one shot.”

Each school takes the stage and performs their act in front of a panel of judges, selected from different schools outside of the region.The rules of engagement are specific. Each team is given fifty-five minutes to perform their piece.

Our drama program originally had some issues sticking to the given time.  According to Long, “We had a very unique situation this year… we started out with “Wiley and the Hairy Man” one act play version.  We then discovered a musical version, which “really amped up the energy and the emotion.”

That being said, the added songs and dances made the play go well over the time limit at seventy minutes. Mrs. Long decided to email a company, that would get her in contact with the playwright, to see if she would be allowed to edit it down to fifty-five minutes. Mrs. Long and the playwright, Susan Zeder, worked together to piece it all together perfectly 

The show was a success and a lot of fun. Ian Kamu and Chloe Bacon received the honor of making All Star cast.

Ultimately, One Act competition is fierce, but at its core, everyone is so positive and learns so much.