Reach for the stars

UIL One Act Play advances to Region for first time since 2001

Cast+members+Maddie+Frost%2C+Lia+Graham%2C+Beth+Dietze%2C+and+Anabeth+Icenhower+preform+%22Silent+Sky%22+in+their+UIL+One+Act+Play+competition.+The+show+advanced+to+the+5A+Region+II+on+March+24%2C+2021+in+their+home+theater.

Photo by Sydney Rowe

Cast members Maddie Frost, Lia Graham, Beth Dietze, and Anabeth Icenhower preform “Silent Sky” in their UIL One Act Play competition. The show advanced to the 5A Region II on March 24, 2021 in their home theater.

Story by Taylor Bayonne, staff writer

Many young actors and actresses crowd around a laptop in a dressing room hoping, wishing and praying that all their hard work will finally pay off.  Little did they know, they would do something that had not been done in over 20 years. Then, just like that, their hopeful thinking and good wishes came true: the virtual awards ceremony playing on the small screen announced their school. The Tiger Theatre Company was going to Region. 

The Company had been preparing for this moment for many months. From endless dress rehearsals, table reads and practices, these thespians had put in all they had for this one moment.  In the eyes of the actors and crew, Bi-District was a day filled with excitement and anticipation of what would come next for them.

“We also didn’t get a Best Performer Award, which is kind of devastating because  that automatically makes you advance usually. Then I looked at everyone and we were all screaming, and then I just couldn’t stop crying,” senior Anabeth Icenhower said. “I was just so happy.”

Finally advancing to Regionals for the first time in 20 years the excitement could not be more real and fulfilling for everyone involved; from the cast and director, all the way down to lighting and sound, it was all so rewarding. The Tiger Theater Company owed their success not only to their hard work, but also to the vision of their director, who had also made it to Regionals for the first time ever in her career.

I was in total shock, honestly, none of us really expected to advance because we never have before.”

— Anabeth Icenhower, senior

“It feels really great,” director Melissa Newton said. “My favorite comment personally, was when the lead judge put on the ballot that I had done an excellent job of directing. That just felt really good after a lot of years of [competing] and being told ‘I didn’t understand your directorial choices.’”

Although with garnering hope and excitement from the members of the Tiger Theatre Company, this  profound success brought back memories of where the school’s  theatre program all started.

 “I was part of One Act Play back in 1988,” technical director Trent Hannah said. “I really didn’t know anything about it; it was not a big deal at all. The drama instructor said, ‘Trent Do you want to be part of the play?’ and I was like ‘Yeah. The what? Sure!’ There were four of us in the play, and I had no idea that there was a competition.”

When it comes to preparing for the competition there are many elements that must come together, and oftentimes there are many obstacles that come and act as bumps in the road. The road to their success was not easy, especially considering the challenges COVID-19 restrictions brought on hosting the competition.  

“It was a challenge, having to host during COVID,” Newton said. “We had a lot of restrictions; trying to do what we needed to do to run a successful contest and also fulfill the guidelines that our district set for us was difficult, but I feel like we did a really good job of balancing the needs of the contest and also making sure that we were COVID safe.”

In the end, many obstacles were overcome in the months the Company has worked on it’s show. However, after meeting such a historical level of success so far, the actors and crew haven’t lost any morale at all.

“Going further than we have in decades is the ultimate reward in my mind,” lead actress Maddie Frost said. “I just feel like everything I’ve put in, all the late nights and long rehearsals, is worth it.”