Theater students capture top honors in region

Grace Berkhead, Staff Reporter

At the annual North Carolina Theater Conference (NCTC) held in November, students from Marie Jones’s class were crowned regional champions and advanced to state-level competition.

“The play performed was “Watermelon Barbie,” written by two of my students 18 years ago that came back and helped my students today with it. My current students loved it, and it was very fulfilling because 18 years ago when they performed the play, they didn’t win at regionals,” Jones said.

The play, penned by Lena Bell and Casey Gaumer, traces the friendship of two girls who meet in the fourth grade.

As Jones described, “One’s life spirals downward, while one spirals upward. It’s the story of their friendship.”

At NCTC performers are judged and given feedback.

“I think everything went really well at regionals. The students gave the best performance ever. The judges did a good job. I think everybody was on their game,” Jones said.

Once the theater team found out they advanced onto states, there was a lot of preparation to get ready to compete. Senior Carly Hebert was part of the performance.

“We had two weeks to fix everything that the regionals judges said needed to be worked on: we worked on diction, annunciation projection,” Hebert said.

Timothy Domack, who leads the tech theater students, planned out how his students could improve before going to states.

“For the tech side, we’re going to design tougher and step up our designs. They won best set design at regionals,” Domack said.

Even though the theater team didn’t win states, they were still happy with their placement.

“Out of 32 teams we got a superior rating, so we were in the top 5,” Jones and Domack said.

Senior Abigail Mills thinks that the team had a lot of strong suits in their performance at states.

“I think we had really good on stage chemistry together. We all knew our characters really well, and we were just out there to have a good time and have fun,” Mills said.

The performers not only had the teachers and past students to help them, they also had their peers. Junior Aleia Bowman was one of the student directors.

“We had a lot of help from the writer, so what pleased me the most is that in the end, we all figured out what we needed to do and everyone putting in the effort and listening to the student directors,” Bowman said.

Bowman believes the students improved greatly from region to states.

“At regionals our strongest thing was the acting towards the end. At states it was all around a really strong performance. We improved our projection, our physicality, characterization, and our costumes. States was all around a lot better.”