The Marble Falls High School Theatre Arts Troupe advanced to the bi-district round of the UIL one-act play contest set for March 24 at Leander Rouse High School. Courtesy photo
The Marble Falls High School Theater Arts Troupe’s one-act play advanced for the fifth year in a row to bi-district competition, which is set for March 24 at Leander Rouse High School.
Students performed “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” at district on March 11.
University Interscholastic League one-act play competition begins with more than 14,000 students across the state performing over 1,000 plays that are 18-40 minutes long. Schools compete against others with similar enrollments in district, bi-district, area, and regional contests with the goal of making it to state, usually held in May. A panel of one or three judges selects the top three performances to advance to the next level up to regionals. The top two plays at regionals make it to state.
“Our kids have put together a very strong production, and I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts in the face of all that happened,” said Marble Falls theater arts teacher Jon Clark. “In our five years of making it out of district, this is the strongest show they have had, and they’ve accomplished that in the middle of a pandemic.”
After last year’s troupe advanced to bi-district and headed into Spring Break, the one-act play season was canceled due to COVID-19.
“After advancing from district, we went into Spring Break and had no idea we would never see that production back on stage,” Clark said. “One of our lead actors was an exchange student and, shortly after (Spring Break), had to fly back home. We never recorded that show or took too many pictures, so when the pandemic started, it wiped out much of the kids’ hard work.
“It was heartbreaking for that group of kids, especially the seniors and our exchange student,” Clark added.
Students bounced back this year, even amid the continuing pandemic. The troupe also staged performances of “Sense and Sensibility” in October and helped with the musical production of “Bright Star” earlier this year.
Students also earned individual honors at district:
Faith Trapane: honorable mention for all-star cast
Tess Linderman: honorable mention for all-star cast
Easton Jones: all-star cast
“This year has certainly been challenging, but performing, competing, and making art has been so cathartic for all of us,” Clark said. “Today (March 12), we listened to music from last year’s show and set the stage for our next rehearsal. It was bittersweet but a much-needed bit of closure.”