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Burnet High School one-act play advances to bi-district despite obstacles

Burnet High School theater arts

Despite a number of obstacles, including COVID-19 quarantines and a flooded auditorium, the Burnet High School theater arts students advanced to the bi-district round of the University Interscholastic League’s one-act play competition. Courtesy photo

The show must go on is a theater cliche, but it rang true for Burnet High School theater arts students, who, despite several challenges, advanced to the bi-district round of the University Interscholastic League’s one-act play competition with their production of “Treasure Island.”

The district contest was March 10 at Jarrell High School.

“The students performed wonderfully, and I am so proud of them,” said theater arts teacher Amanda Brandenburg. “We have overcome many challenges this year, from quarantines to lost rehearsals and clinics over weather closure, and the biggest obstacle has been the loss of our auditorium due to the broken pipe.”

During the February winter storm, a water pipe in the high school’s auditorium ruptured and flooded the facility. 

Theater students were unable to rehearse in the auditorium. 

“The administration has been so supportive and have found alternate places for us to rehearse, and the students have persevered through all the challenges with spirit, pride, and honor,” Brandenburg said.

The Marble Falls High School theater arts program, led by teacher Jon Clark, lent some costume pieces, Brandenburg added, something for which she and her students are thankful.

In one-act competition, students perform an 18- to 40-minute play before a panel of three judges or a single judge. The top three plays advance to the next round until regionals, at which point, only the top two move on to state.

The bi-district round is Wednesday, March 24, also at Jarrell High School.

Brandenburg picked Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.”

“When I chose the play this summer, I wasn’t even sure what the contest would look like this year (due to COVID-19), but I knew I wanted the students to have fun with whatever we did,” she said. “So I chose ‘Treasure Island’ with the thought that they would have fun performing it while still having challenging characters to develop.”

Burnet students also picked up six individual honors during the district contest, including:

  • All-Star Tech: Kylie Tullos for lighting
  • Honorable Mention All-Star Cast: Kaitlyn Taras for the role of Ben Gunn
  • Honorable Mention All-Star Cast: Erich Kassner for the role of Squire Trelawney 
  • All-Star Cast: Delaney Mooney for the role of Jim Hawkins
  • All-Star Cast: Katie McCulley for the roles of Billy Bones and Captain Smollett
  • All-Star Cast: William Randles for the role of Long John Silver

“Overall, while the experience has been rewarding, the most amazing part is that, through it all, we just keep having fun performing,” Brandenburg added.