Local high school theatre teams show off skills in one act competition

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Last week, two out of the three Troup County high schools competed in their regional One Act theatre competition.

LHS finished in second place for their performance of Dirty Work at the Crossroads. LHS also went home with the most awards of any school in the region AAAA competition as the cast won best ensemble and best costumes. Individual cast members took home awards as well with Patrick Barnett winning best actor and Ally Skipworth, Walker Kemp and Render McLeod winning all-star cast.

Barnett, a senior at LHS this year, played the villain of the show and ultimately won best actor for his performance. Barnett said this is something he has been trying to accomplish since he started performing with the LHS theatre department.

“I’ve been going for that for like three years and finally I got it. So, it was really a good redeeming moment walking down there to get that medal, probably one of the best feelings I ever had in my life,” Barnett said.

Barnett said that he did research to find inspiration when choosing how to perform as the villain.

“When I’m trying to channel a villain, I’ll go on YouTube and find some of the goofy stuff like the guy from ‘Meet the Robinsons’ was one of my people I looked at before I had my audition,” Barnett said. “I’ll just kind of watch old cartoony stuff and just kind of get in that mindset that this is fake. I’m a cartoon character. And then I just go out and perform and see what happens.”

Randall Kemper, the director and theater teacher at LHS, said that he is proud of his department’s accomplishments especially with so many members being new to the One Act competition.

“We had a lot of new kids who were doing it for the first time and so some of them didn’t know what to expect. There was a lot of nervous energy but the right kind of nervous, excited rather than scared,” Kemper said. “The few veterans that we did have, they knew what to expect. And they took on leadership roles and kind of lead by example. They were excited, ready to go and had a lot of fun doing it.”

Dirty Work at the Crossroads will play this Thursday and Saturday at the LaGrange High auditorium at 7 p.m.

Callaway High School placed third in its competition on Wednesday for New Margo. Haley Jones and Molly Evans won all-star cast for their performances.

Evans said that the theatre department had a lot of fun performing in the One Act competition.

“Just being there with friends. We were all joking around and having a good time. And just enjoying it rather than stressing about it,” Evans said.

Jones said the closeness of CHS’s theater department helped her as she prepared for her role.

“It’s a lot easier because you don’t feel embarrassed like working through different things that you normally haven’t done before and with things like fighting or having to grab each other — it’s a lot easier,” Jones said.

Noel Jordan said that Troup High School chose not to participate in One Act this year, but their theatre department will be performing this year.

“Troup is not performing a one act this year, but we have a huge musical production of the classic 1964 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” coming in December,” said Jordan via email.