Brown: Night of Theatre a delightful event

Courtney Brown, Panther's Tale copy editor

On April 26, I went to the Night of Theatre to take pictures for newspaper, and what I received was more than just a grade for my photo assignment — I was delighted by the one-acts filled with humor and heart, each with a cast full of talented actors.

There were four one-acts: “A Murdered Mystery” by Karl Garner, “Perfect Score” by Katie Henry, “How to Kiss a Girl” by Wade Bradford and “Tracks” by Peter Tarsi. I had to leave early, so unfortunately I did not get to see “Tracks,” but I thoroughly enjoyed the one-acts I did see.

“A Murdered Mystery”: Delightful and amusing

“A Murdered Mystery” was directed by senior Devon Stone and junior Brittaney Hybki. The play follows a group of people trying to discover who killed Steve (junior Nathan York).

However, when the butler John (junior Jacob Tanner) starts making asides as the narrator, the other characters quickly become confused, and John has to explain has to what narrating is. His explanation backfires when the other characters crave more of the spotlight.

The plot is simple, but it is full of humor from start to finish. Each one of the actors portrayed their role wonderfully.

The mannerisms of the characters were also delightful to watch. They made their movements more exaggerated to show how annoyed they were listening to John — such as mimicking him behind his back. These movements were a small touch, but made a huge difference. It added to the overall amusement of the play.

The play was delightful to watch, and the twist ending when the other characters kill Steve out of frustration was hinted at throughout the play, but executed in such an amusingly way that the ending was still satisfying.

“You Had to Be There” Moments:

  • Steve’s gag of reappearing even when he’s “not supposed to be there” since he is dead. Extra points for sticking his head through the curtain  — as unexpected as it was hilarious.
  • The Twist Ending  — like I said, execution was perfect!


“Perfect Score”: Relatable and entertaining

“A Perfect Score” was directed by seniors Erica Doesken and Nyra Brown.

This play follows high school students Hannah, James, Ivy and Alex (juniors Angel Holt, Samson Chick, Tatum Lanning and sophomore Ryan Hunter) as they go through the college application process and stress about preparing for college.

I have to say, this play was my favorite because it was the most relatable. The characters face uncertainties about their future and work on solving their problems and improving themselves.

I give props to the directors for choosing a one-act that speaks personally to high school students. It is a great representation of high school life with its perfect of blend of humor and drama.

What stuck out to me is that the play was divided into more distinct “sections” almost. I say “sections” because it was more abrupt than usual scenes, like there were little skits interspersed into the overarching plot of the high schoolers developing their future plans.

For instance, one scene is set up like a commercial, almost, where Alex stands with his parents (juniors Julie Martin and Brett Townsend) and an overhead voice (junior Mahalia Hartfield) promises them their son will get into college if they have certain textbooks and ACT prep books. It is hilarious, especially with the actors on stage pantomiming everything. My favorite part is Alex’s parents making him sink under the weight with all the books and test guides.

That was obviously part of the humor, but I loved the serious stuff, too. Each character depicted different worries and goals about the future that any high school could relate to. I enjoyed seeing those different aspect and watching the characters grow.

I also enjoyed how the play didn’t focus exclusively on the high school students’ college worries but also showed their family life and how that impacted them. From fighting with parents to dealing with neglect, it contributed to the high school friends growing closer to each other and accurately depicted the overall struggles a high school student might face.

Of course, the actors and the directors contributed to making this play incredible. The actors who played the characters were amazing, and they portrayed their characters’ depth wonderfully, fully utilizing emotion and body language.


“You Had to Be There” Moments:

  • The ACT prep teacher (freshman Addison Pagels) jumps into Alex’s arms in the skit
  • James unexpectedly comes out wearing an apron and oven mitts


“How to Kiss a Girl”: Hilarious and fun

“How to Kiss a Girl” was directed by senior Brittani Cook — and this play was absolutely hilarious. It is about Ken (sophomore Bradley Roudybush) dealing with nerves on his first date with his friend Steph (junior Leah Khanu).

He’s unsure of how to act on his date, or talk with her father, or when to kiss her. So he does what any teenage boy would do — plugs in his earbuds and looks up dating advice on his cell phone.

Minerva (sophomore Danika Sinclair) is kind of like Siri on an iPhone. Ken asks her to bring up files on dating advice. Sinclair does a great computer voice, but she is only the start of something great.

The crazy characters that give Ken advice — from a cowboy and pilgrim to a pirate and princess — are all hilarious. They had such entertaining personalities.

Also, shoutout to Cook, who had to jump into the role of the pirate since the actor got sick — she was really funny and just as great as the rest of them.

As for the ending, I really liked how right before Ken kissed Steph (the actors didn’t actually kiss), he turned off the dating app. This is a small detail, but I like the message that Ken should rely on himself in doing what he feels is right.

You Had to Be There” Moments:

  • All of the crazy noises Roudybush made (maybe pay more attention to theadvice before you do it, Ken)
  • The Pilgrim (junior Alyssa Haddock) insistently telling Ken and Steph they had to “repent” for dating without a chaperone
  • When coaching Ken on dancing, the app tells Ken to “dip” Steph, and Steph dips Ken instead


“Tracks” by Peter Tarsi was directed by juniors Aliana Jennings, Jamie Black and senior Sydney Gregor.

This play is about a group of different people who findthemselves in a subway station and learn that they have died. They try to figure out if they should go on the train bound for heaven or hell based on their past deeds.


Like I said before, I had to leave early, so I missed out on watching “Tracks”, but I am sure that if the following plays are any indication, this one-act was also amazing. The premise seems both humorous and deep. I would have appreciated watching the gray discussion of morals.


Overall, Derby High’s Night of Theatre has amazingly-talented actors in one-acts that everyone can enjoy.