One Act Play Chemical Imbalance gives new look at Jekyll and Hyde struggle


photo or infographic by Emily Meachen

ONE ACT PLAY SET. The drama department has began preparing Chemical Imbalance, a retelling of the classic Jekyll and Hyde story.

A snowy December night in Victorian London, and a murderer on the loose with a dysfunctional household. However, the killer is a lot closer than they think… 

UIL season has begun, and that does not exclude the drama department. With main rehearsals beginning in February, the cast will work hard until their first public show on March 3rd of Chemical Imbalance, the 2023 One Act Play.

Henry Jekyll, played by senior Sheldon Humphrey is doomed and miserable. The main character, having spent years at medical school, uses his talents for disaster.

“It feels great to finally be the protagonist of a story,” Humphrey said. “The main guy, if you will. I hope to make my interpretation of this well-known character one of my best performances yet.”

The cast is composed of both new and returning members of One Act. Senior Saiorse Gallagher is new to the drama department, yet her natural talent has landed her the female lead and love interest, Rosamunda Dewthistle.

“I’ve always wanted to be in high school productions and seeing how this is my senior year, I figured that it’s my last opportunity to get involved with shows that have open casting,” Gallagher said. “When I went into auditions I was obviously hoping for a good role, but knowing that I had little to no experience with theater or being on stage in general. To my surprise and excitement, I was cast in a lead role and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given. I’m intending to make my fellow cast members and directors proud by doing the best I can play this role.”

Those experiences in One Act also extend to the classroom. Senior Brody McNew, earned the role of Xavier Utterson for the second time in his high school career. 

“I think I am extremely lucky to be able to revisit a character; not a lot of actors have that privilege. It is truly a luxury that I have been given the chance to use all I’ve learned in the past years to expand upon this character,” McNew said. “I feel like I’ve improved a lot since I played Xavier last, and I am ecstatic to apply this to him. This show is truly one of my favorite shows I’ve ever been a part of, and I am very excited to do it again with a whole new cast. I am very curious to see all my cast’s ideas and decisions as their characters.”

While some are comfortable in the roles they achieved, others are being pushed to grow their skills as actors. Junior Aiden Hamilton landed the role of Euphronia Jekyll, the mother to Henry, and a very feminine woman. 

“Since I’ve played another female character before, I’m going to attempt to use the same tactics in body language and voice, but I find it harder to be a British woman,” Hamilton said. “I’m trying to make the voice louder and more feminine, but it will be difficult. With this being a one-act show, I can’t just play around, it’s more serious.”

The show closes with the maid, Ivy, giving a short epilogue. Played by senior Kolby Sebastian, Ivy has the opening and closing monologues of the show, being the first and last thing judges and audiences will see.  

“It’s really symbolic to me because I started my freshman year with one act, and now I’m going to end it with one act, so having the opening and closing monologue is very special to me,” Sebastian said. “Getting to start a show and end it with all my favorite people in the world and getting to be alongside the cast is just why I love one act.”