LaVilla One Act Plays: Upon a Sea of Dreams & Discovering Rogue

March 25, 2013
4 mins read
LaVilla Discovering Rogue

The LaVilla School of the Arts presented two one-act plays as their annual Spring Production. The school does two major productions each year. Last fall, LaVilla did the musical School House Rock, which went on to the District Thespians and State Thespian Festival in Melbourne Florida.

LaVilla is a magnet school with students from every corner of Duval county in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Many students continue their education at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts or Stanton College Prep.

The first one-act was “UPON A SEA OF DREAMS” by Kathleen Donnelly which debuted in 2008 and is published by Theatrefolk, a Canadian firm. The play offers a unique look at the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, as seen through the eyes of four teenagers.

The young McElroy sisters, Emma (ALEXIS STUART), Milly (TAYLOR HALSEMA), and Sarah (JULIANA LANE) are in a third class cabin, en route from Ireland to America to reunite with their father and begin a new life. Their mother, who planned to accompany them, died after giving birth to a son, Jacob, who is now four months old; the girls are caring for the baby during the voyage. During the first few minutes, the girls are in playful moods, talking about finding rich men to marry and looking forward to exciting adventures in a land filled with promise.

They are visited by Matt (DYLAN EMERICK), a handsome young man, who is about sixteen years old and a fourth class passenger. He and the fourteen-year old Milly are romantically attracted to each other.

The atmosphere suddenly changes when loud alarms sound and Matt rushes in to tell them the ship has struck ice and is sinking. Those of you who have seen films about this infamous event, or read books about it, know that the Titanic did not have enough lifeboats for all the passengers. Because passengers on the lower decks did not have free access to the upper decks, most were unable to reach the lifeboats; priority was given to the women and children who were first class passengers.

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country.

They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.

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