HomeNewsEducationArea High Schools Take Top Honors at Region One-Act Competitions

Area High Schools Take Top Honors at Region One-Act Competitions

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Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to include Augusta Preparatory Day School whose competition was held after the initial story ran on Nov. 1.

Multiple high school drama departments have taken home top honors in recent days in their respective regional one-act play competitions.

Evans, Greenbrier, Harlem, John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School and Augusta Preparatory Day School all brought home best play wins over the past week.

This was the third consecutive year that Rebecca Brune’s students at Evans High School brought home the region 3-6A title. This year, the thespians presented “The Diviners” by Jim Leonard Jr. at Heritage High School, Conyers, Ga. on Oct. 28.

Members of Evans High School’s award-winning drama cast. Photo courtesy Rebecca Brune

“I am continually humbled by the talent exhibited by the students at Evans High School and the manner in which our program has become so successful over the past several years,” said Brune.

Jaysen Lami won best actor, and Oliver Caffee and Daylyn Knox were named all-star cast.

Brune said this year’s region victory had special meaning.

“Having emerged from such a difficult time in education (the pandemic), the process of directing and performing in such an emotionally evocative piece proved to be a most cathartic experience for everyone involved. I am proud to be among some of the best theater educators in the state,” she said.

Harlem High School’s drama students performed A.R. Gurney’s “The Dining Room” at the Region 4AAA competition at Burke County High School Oct. 29.

Not only did the group receive best show, Micah Smith was named best actor and Nadia Perez was named best actress. Collin Scogin and Talia Panowich were all-star cast.

Members of Harlem High School’s cast and crew of “The Dining Room.” Photo courtesy Kelly Cook

“I am so proud of my students,” said drama teacher Kelly Cook. “Not only were they tackling mature content that is outside their personal experience, but they did that with about five to seven different characters.”

Greenbrier High School won the 8-AAAAA region title with its production of “I and You” by Lauren Gunderson Oct. 30 at Walnut Grove High School.

The play has only two performers, Gabrielle Riley and Derek Varney, who won best actress and best actor respectively, according to director Steve Hansen.

From left to right Emily Trapnell, Gabrielle Riley, Derek Varney, Faith Cook are members of the cast and crew of “I and You.” Photo courtesy Steve Hansen

“Their play was the last performance of the day and went up against four musicals and three other plays,” he said.

In Richmond County, Davidson has been a longtime powerhouse in drama competitions, winning multiple titles over the years.

John S. Davidson Fine Arts’ Magnet School won multiple awards with its production of “The Terrible Infants.” Photo credit Marian Yu.

Betty Walpert’s students took “The Terrible Infants” to the 4-AA competition at Baldwin High School in Milledgeville Oct. 30. The show won multiple awards including best show, best costumes, best ensemble and best set. Arrie Bowden won best actress; Frankecia Bartley won best supporting actress and Kene Aniedobe and Teresia Carbral won all-star cast.

“The students have been absolutely amazing. Throughout the rehearsal process, we have worked together to fashion this wildly creative play. So, the students have taken such personal ownership of their performance. And it shows,” according to Walpert.

It’s been six years since Augusta Preparatory Day School won a region one-act competition, and it was an uphill battle to take home the honor with the school’s production of “Macbeth.”

Augusta Preparatory Day School won its region one-act play competition Nov. 3 with Macbeth. Photo courtesy Chris Gay

“The interesting component of winning the region championship is one of our seniors who had one of the lead roles (Macduff) fell ill late Tuesday night and was unable to attend school Wednesday, thus missing the competition. One of our juniors shifted roles, spent five hours during the day learning Macduff’s lines and fight scenes. He ended up helping the team win, while also winning one of the individual awards for his performance,” according to Chris Gay, the school’s director of communications in an email.

Augusta Preparatory Day School won its region one-act play competition with “Macbeth.” Photo courtesy Chris Gay.

Charlie Dees is the actor who leaped into the role of Macduff to save the day. Also Mayah Nussbaum and Seth Suykerbuyk won awards.

Aquinas was the Region 3A runner-up for its performance of “I, Chorus” Saturday in Savannah. Sarah O’Quinn won the regional best actress award. Paul Conner, Savannah Bunker, Grace Christman, John Mark Tolentino, Klein Shu, Evelyn Lanham and Melissa Holland were named all-star cast.

Grovetown High School won second place in 3-6A, bringing home its first trophy in the one-act competition, Brune said.

The winning high schools head to state competitions, which are all scheduled before Thanksgiving.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the Features Editor for The Augusta Press. Reach her at [email protected]

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