Thespians cast for first competitive one-act this October


Shelby Foster

The entire cast and crew of The Last Night at Ballyhoo, seniors Kade Smith, Nora Bill, Rollin Rocket, Noah McPherson, Avery Grillo, Walker Allen, Zabrina Corrales, junior Ginni Gray, and sophomore McKenna Rockwell, hold up “focus foxes” in order to gain everyone’s attention before beginning the script. The cast and crew sit down for the first table read of the competitive one act play that will be performed at Whitewater High School on Oct. 22.

Daniella Vivas, Features co-Editor

In the past two years the Starr’s Mill drama department has faced many inevitable changes after losing David Spearman, who had previously worked at the Mill for 18 years. The drama department has since then seen two other teachers before landing new director and sponsor of thespian society troupe 6412, Andrew Snider.

This competition gives us a chance to represent our school’s drama department…

— Sophomore McKenna Rockwell

The Starr’s Mill 2016-17 school year hit the ground running by introducing several new faculty changes to the student body. These changes included the loss of a veteran Starr’s Mill foreign language teacher and a former McIntosh assistant principal, who made the hop over to the Mill.

Starting off as a teacher who taught English to students as a second language and theater at Dawson County High School, Snider made the transition into the teaching drama full time when he realized that “theater [was his]  passion,” Snider said.

Bringing  on a new teacher may leave room for uncertainty in students. “It’s scary to start off the year with, again, a new teacher because you don’t know what is going to happen. [It’s]also exciting [thinking] of all that’s going to happen this year,” casted role of ‘Joe’ in the competitive one act play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and senior, Kade Smith, said.

The competition will be held at Whitewater High School on Oct. 22 against four other schools in the region including McIntosh, Fayette, Griffin and Whitewater. The students will perform the same play from the competition at Starr’s Mill on Oct. 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and on the 23 as an encore performance at 2:30 p.m. in the Willie Duke auditorium.  

Each school will perform a one act play lasting 55 minutes. The cast and crew will be allowed 15 minutes prior to opening-curtain to load, perform, and pick-up all set pieces and props under one hour.  The competition also allows for crew members, who ¨are an essential part of the play,” Snider said, “to get the same thrill as the one´s performing.¨

Judges will award first, second and third place along with a wide range of other awards including: all star cast, best lead role, best supporting role and many more. ¨This competition gives us a chance to represent our school’s drama department while also driving us to make the show the best it can be,¨ sophomore McKenna Rockwell said.

As the only underclassman and only person not in the Advanced Drama Two class, The Last Night of Ballyhoo opened a door for Rockwell.  ¨When I heard about Ballyhoo I was over-the- moon excited to audition and I am so grateful to Mr. Snider for giving me this opportunity,” Rockwell said.

As a way to gain a bigger turn out for plays, as opposed to musicals, Snider will implement a seasonal children’s play, Junie B Jones, this winter. More information on this will become available as the date approaches.  

¨Although it was a bummer to get a new director my senior year, it was a good change because he has a lot of ideas on how to grow the program as a whole,¨ senior Jordan Bobbitt said.