Glenn High School’s theatre department isn’t letting their lack of upperclassmen get in the way of their strive for stardom.
Under the direction of Neal Gage, the cast of the school’s One-Act Play, “Proof,” has been advancing through the ranks with their UIL performance. On Tuesday, the cast discovered that they made regionals and will compete in Houston against the top 24 4A high schools in the state. One March 22, the students discovered they were moving on to the 4A Area competition.
“It is all about preparing a play with my very best students,” Gage said. “And following the strict UIL rules.”
The rule are very strict indeed. No play can exceed 40 minutes performance time. No play can use more than seven minutes to set and seven minutes to strike. No more than 60 seconds can elapse between the set time and the beginning of the performance. Directors are not permitted in the light booth, backstage or in offstage areas during the contest performance of their play and they cannot make contact or communicate with crew and cast members during the performance. The list goes on.
“Timing is really the most difficult challenge,” Gage said. “At this point we need to make sure our show is always flawless.”
Rebecca Mitchell, who plays Catherine in the play, said that playing the lead has been rewarding and fun.
“The most challenging part has been kissing
Reece,” she joked. “Seriously, though, being in the play has involved lots and lots of practice. I run lines with my mom every day.”
Branden Keiper, who is in charge of the set’s lights, has also learned a lot about the work that goes into producing a play.
“I did sound last semester, so this was something different,” Keiper said. “The hardest part about doing lights is that when something messes up you have to figure out how to manually fix it.”
Gage thinks his students can progress to the state competition.
“We’ve already beaten out established schools,” Gage said. “This is a huge deal for a first-year school. I set the expectations higher than I thought they could handle and they met them.”