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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

Short and Sweet

Actors and non-actors alike come together to put on the Bishop’s Shorts Festival
Sophia Gleeson (’24)
Jerry Huber (‘24) (right) acted in Ben Hollingshead’s (‘24) short “Love and Information,” stepping onto the stage as an actor rather than tech member for the first time in his high school career.

“From the first one being a more conventional sketchy, skit-type play, to the second one being very abstract, to the third one being opera comedy, it was a lot of fun,” audience member Raphael Delgado (‘24) said. “I think everyone really killed it.”

The Shorts Festival is a unique tradition that Bishop’s performing arts holds close to its heart. Every year, seniors get the chance to cast and direct a “short”: a small production of their choice. For some, Shorts marks the final year of their performing career at Bishop’s, and for others, it’s a chance to step outside their comfort zone and try something new. 

Giacomo Berti (‘24), for example, is involved in jazz band and orchestra, but has never tried acting before. This year, he played a leading role of a businessman in a comical short directed by Marcus Buu-Hoan (‘24) and Eric Chen (‘24), La Mouche (French for “the fly”). “In my senior year, I just want to make sure I get everything out of the Bishop’s experience that I possibly can,” he explained. “So I decided to try something I’ve never done before.”

Giacomo was a hit on stage, prompting many laughs. “He’s a natural,” said Raphael. “I wish I’d done this sooner,” Giacomo said. For him, the supportive environment and camaraderie with the other students was what made the experience so worthwhile. “We’re just one big happy family, and we support each other, and we practice occasionally,” he joked.

Mira Singh (‘25), who was in Sophia Gleeson’s (‘24) short, agreed. “My favorite thing about Shorts is the community, and getting to work with students in that directing role,” she said. Sophia directed Mira, Riley Brunson (‘25), and Eliana Leff (‘26) in “Natasha & Bolkonskys,” which included two songs from the musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. “It’s a very different experience working with a teacher versus a student,” Mira said. She hopes to direct a short herself next year.

Jerry Huber (‘24) also tried something new by acting in Ben Hollingshead’s (‘24) short called “Love and Information,” a collection of brief, standalone scenes. Over his high school years, Jerry has been dedicated to the tech department of the performing arts, but he decided to finally step onto the stage himself in his senior year.

Before high school, Jerry used to act, and this experience brought him back to that. “It made me miss acting, until the first show, and then I was like, I never wanna do this again,” he laughed. “It went well, but I was definitely not ready for the nerves. I’m not used to getting nervous before a show for tech – for acting, it’s very different.”

Jerry’s nerves didn’t show on stage, though, and Shorts proved the perfect environment for him to rediscover acting along with his peers without acting experience, Giacomo and Jonas Pfefferman (‘24). “We’ve had our friends directing us, and we’ve gotten to do what they love to do, and we can just have fun,” Jerry said.

For the senior directors, who are seasoned actors and performers, Shorts was a whole new experience as well. “It’s interesting to be on the other side of a rehearsal: give people suggestions, give them direction, and see what they do with it,” Sophia explained. “Especially because it’s the beginning of the year, I think Shorts has helped me grow into my senior leadership self.”

Marcus reflected that after working under so many directors and older students in the past, he now has a new understanding of the whole process. “You think the director always knows what they’re doing, but really, a lot of the time, Eric and I didn’t really know what we were doing at all,” he laughed. “I think it was just about giving the actors their creative space to do what they want and supporting that… that was my goal.” Seeing all of their work finally come to fruition on the stage, he said, was the best part.

Raphael said, “I hope [Shorts] is a tradition that continues, and I can come back after I graduate and see where our students’ creativity takes them years from now.”

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About the Contributor
Isadora Blatt
Isadora Blatt, Editor-in-Chief
Isadora is a senior and an Editor-in-Chief. A four-year member of The Tower, she loves to write about a variety of topics, from school coverage to national events that affect the Bishop’s community and beyond. Outside of journalism, she plays violin in Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra and dances, her favorite style being hip-hop. She believes that SZA’s “Ctrl” album is the best album on this earth and hopes to be her top listener on Spotify this year. 

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