By Penny LeLeux
For the Record 

OC stars shined bright at UIL One Act Play competition

 

Last updated 3/7/2023 at 6:01pm

The cast and crew of Vidor High School Pirate Players are UIL One Act Play district champs and will compete in bi-district March 18 at Lamar University. Courtesy photo

Orange County students showed up and showed out Saturday at the District 19 – 4A UIL One Act Play competition held at Lamar University. Seven schools competed, four of which were from Orange County: Bridge City, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Vidor and West Orange-Stark. Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Vidor will be advancing to bi-district, along with Jasper.

All the students should feel proud of their performances whether they advanced or not. Many of the performances were pro level, worthy of playing at the Lutcher Theater.

West Orange-Stark presented an original, unpublished, play that was written by director Mason Franco, "Spirit on the Mountain," that took place in a medieval mountain village. It was an engaging tale that covered religion, earth magic, superstition, gullibility and the art of story-telling in medieval times.

Among other awards, Alicia Odom received Best Performer for her role as Witch.

"This is the first achievement of this kind for West Orange in over six years," stated a press release from the school.

There will be a community performance scheduled later.

Vidor presented "Shipwrecked! An Entertainment" by Donald Margulies that is set in various locations in Europe and Australia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is a fantastical tale of a young boy that was sickly during his early life and set off on an adventure at the age of 16. The voyage goes through the next 30 years of being shipwrecked, rescued by aboriginal natives, marriage and more.

Haley Hatton proved you don't need lines to be outstanding when she won honorable mention for playing a dog.

Grant Masters, a Vidor senior, has a very bright future ahead of him. His performance in the lead as Louis de Rougemont was worthy of any professional stage.

"I inherited talent," said Vidor director Stacy Webb. This is Webb's first year at Vidor. She moved from a successful career leading Bridge City's theater department. She credits former director Adam Conrad for molding the kids.

"Adam comes in to help and is always available to bounce off ideas. I can't take full credit," she said.

Conrad moved from the theater department to a counselor's position at the school but is credited as assistant director.

Bridge City High School presented "These Shining Lives" set in Ottawa Illinois in the 1920s and 1930s by Melanie Marnich. It is based on the true story of Catherine Wolfe Donohue, played by Ava Gassen, and other women, dubbed by newspapers as "Radium Girls," that were poisoned by the radium laced paint used to paint watch faces that would glow in the dark. It covered their journey fighting the company that insured them of an early death.

Gassen won an honorable mention for her portrayal of Donohue, while fellow castmate, Olivia Haynes was named to the All Star Cast for her role portraying Charlotte Purcell.

"Each student gave his or her personal best and we had a great show! Though we didn't advance, we had fun sharing a powerful story," stated their Facebook page.

The new director at Bridge City is Katelynn Haynes.

Little Cypress-Mauriceville presented scenes from "This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing" by Finegan Kruckemeyer. This was a tale of triplets and how they differed. It brought you through their lives together, separate and back together in the end. All three girls playing the triplets, Zoe Henning, Jessica Ridout and Camille Kelly, were acknowledged for their performances.

Joel Grothe of Lamar University announced the awards.

"Tiffany will be presenting you a medal 'as though you were visiting the White House' in her words," he said.

Tech Theater Awards: West Orange-Stark - Kayla Johnson Jerome; Vidor High School - Jewel Humberson; Bridge City High School - Jackson Pachar; Little Cypress-Mauriceville - Jade Marlatt; Jasper High School – Aldo Navarrete; and Lumberton High School - Jillian Sanchez.

After announcing individual Tech Awards, Grothe named the Best Outstanding Crew.

"It is picked by my crew," Grothe said. "I do not vote on it at all and this year they have selected Bridge City High School."

"It's easy for those in the audience to forget about the tech crew unless something goes wrong," said Bridge City director Katelyn Haynes. "This crew took it all in stride and made magic happen. They put out fires that I probably don't even know about because they handled their numerous responsibilities so efficiently. "

Penny LeLeux

Ashley Callahan (L) of Vidor and Alicia Odom (R) of West Orange-Stark were awarded the highest honor of Best Performer Saturday at the District 19-4A UIL One Act Play competition at Lamar University

All Star Honorable Mention: Silsbee - Bobby Watts in the role of Charles; Lumberton – Keziah Herndon in the role of Luann; Little Cypress-Mauriceville – Jessica Ridout in the role of Beatrix; West Orange-Stark - Alexis Baumgartner the role of the Priestess; Bridge City – Ava Gassen in the role of Catherine; and Vidor – Haley Hatton in the role of Bruno and Elyse Walker in the role of Yamba.

Students named to the All Star Cast were: Bridge City High School – Olivia Haynes in the role of Charlotte; West Orange High School - Ryan Paz in the role of Exalted Guide; Vidor High School - Grant Masters in the role of Louis de Rougemont; Lumberton High School - Emma Nelson in the role of Gillian; Jasper High School - Brandon Gray in the role of Alex; Silsbee High School – Ashton Barnes in the role of Dr. Bradman; and Little Cypress-Mauriceville-Zoe Henning in the role of Albienne and Camille Kelly in the role of Carmen.

The highest actor awards, Best Performer, went to Vidor's Ashley Callahan for the roles of Mother/Captain Jenson/Reporter and West Orange-Stark's Alicia Odom for the role of Witch.

The bi-district competition will be held March 18 at Lamar University.

 

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