BFA Students Perform in Regional One Act Festival

BFA students perform in the One Act play.  Photo credit: Ivy Hoang

BFA students perform in the One Act play. Photo credit: Ivy Hoang

Anna Bouchard, Writer

On April 1, Bellows Free Academy students faced off against Hartford, Milton and Rutland in the Regional One Act Festival.

The Mercury spoke with Susan Palmer, the director of BFA’s one-act performance and a fine arts teacher at BFA, to get her thoughts leading up to the regional competition.

This year, BFA is performing The Chips Are Down by Don Zolidis. Palmer explained how this one act is set in an all-girls boarding school in the 1950s during the era of the Red Scare. Rachel, the class valedictorian and the daughter of the school’s cafeteria manager, is asked by the administration to spy on her favorite teacher who is a suspected communist.

“It centers around the moral quandary that Rachel is put in around the question of what you do when your own internal moral compass tells you to do something different than what the adults in society are telling you to do,” Palmer said.

The play also asks Rachel and the audience what it means to be an American, what freedom means and what is okay for teachers to teach. These questions, Palmer said, are “still very relevant to our times.”

When asked why Palmer chose this one act, she said that it is “very realistic and involves a different type of acting [than what previous one-act plays have had], and I wanted to do that with students.”

The Regional One Act Festival was hosted in the Performing Arts Center at BFA, and although BFA has never made it to states while Palmer was teaching, she was confident in this year’s show, saying that “we have a lot more of a chance” this year. 

Her confidence was not misplaced, as BFA was one of two schools at the competition chosen to move on to the State One Act Festival. 

“We are very excited to be going to the state festival,” Palmer said. “It’s really inspiring for students to see what other schools are doing [for their performances]. I’m so happy that our students get to have this experience.”

Palmer also explained how she is grateful for all of the hard work students and faculty have put into making this performance possible. 

“I feel very proud of the care that people have for each other both onstage and offstage. I am grateful that everyone works to maintain both excellence onstage and off,” Palmer said.