Very few people can really describe the experience of working on a UIL One Act Play (OAP), because, simply put, it’s a beast. There is so much that goes into it. It’s very different from doing a regular show, because so many other people can help with a regular show, and there are no rules as to how to perform it. With UIL, there are rules for everything, and only a limited amount of people can be on the team. As the stage manager for our UIL OAP “When the Rain Stops Falling,” I can say that it has been the hardest, most fulfilling, draining, happiest experience in my life this far. I have gotten to know so many wonderful people. UIL OAPs really challenge everyone involved, and there is so much that is expected from each person.
For the show to be successful, everyone needs to have complete trust in one another, so in the beginning months of the process, people get used to each other. People really get to know each other during spring break rehearsals. Spring break is the time where people can suddenly crack and show unexpected vulnerability. You get to know these people on a more personal level, to the point that you consider them family. People don’t really understand the pressure or why there is so much dedication in working on OAPs until they are part of it. Everyone wants to put on the best show and advance to the state level. Competition days are a weird mixture of chaos and order, because along with the fact that you are competing against five or seven other schools, you need to help your school put on its best performance and focus on your show. Being part of this state-winning UIL OAP team has been the best experience of my life. Since I read the script, my one goal for this show was to win the state competition, and we did. I grew up with this cast and crew, I have become someone I am proud of — and it’s all because of these people. It took all of us to get there, and I am so glad I got to experience that with them.