For the second straight year, the Athens High School One Act Play is on its way to state.
Last year, Director Maggie Mizell and her cast brought home the school’s first state championship with the play “Korezak’s Children.” This year they hope to do the same with “Handler.”
The cast did a knockout job last week at regional competition where Solomon Skiles and Jessi Williams once again won Best Actress and Best Actor awards. Sam Haynie was elected to the All Star Cast.
“They were better than I have ever seen them,” Mizell said. “The judge said this was the best she he had seen. I am really proud of these kids, and how hard they have worked to get this far.”
The play asks how far one should go to express faith in God. And what if a “sign” turns out to be so frightening that it makes the recipient wish it had never happened?
It takes on the extremes of religion and the media, and it plumbs the complexities of lost faith and lost love.
In the rural South, present day, Geordi, played by Skiles, has just been released from prison. He and his wife, Terri, played by Williams, a member of the Holiness Way Church, struggle to re-build their marriage after several years of separation, and the death of their daughter.
One night in service, as rousing singing, dancing and praying takes the congregation into ecstatic celebration, Geordi handles snakes for the first time and is dealt a deadly bite. Three days later, before the astonished eyes of the congregation, Geordi resurrects.
The story goes into what happens to Geordi on the other side, as church members and Brother Bob, played by Sam Haynie, try to comfort Terri in her second loss she has had to face.
The UIL Literary group is on its way to state compettion as well. Director Myrna Bass said all her students did a great job at the regional competiton.
“We won the top speech team award, and first in several other events,” she said. “I am very proud of this. We are taking a good group to state.”
Solomon Skiles placed third in Prose Interpretation. Sam Haynie placed first in Poetry Interpretation, and Russell Frautschi placed third in Persuasive Speaking, while Stephen Grant placed first in Informative Speaking. Jessi Williams placed second in Informative Speaking and Jose Castenada placed fourth in Informative Speaking.
Athens placed first in Math. Purvi Prajapati placed third individually. The team consisted of Purvi Prajapati, Taylor Fitzgerald, Derek Davies and Haley Jezek.
Athens also placed first in Calculator Applications. The team consisted of Purvi Prajapati, Haley Jezek, Derek Davies, Sunil Prajapati (Chris O'Brien - Alternate).
The One Act Play cast, along with the literary members are scheduled to compete May 6 and May 7 in Austin at the University of Texas.
The One Act Play competiton is set for May 6 at Bass Performance Hall. There will be two sessions of plays. Each session will cost $15.
According to Mizell, the first session is set to start at 4 p.m. Athens will be in the second session and scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m.