By LYDIA BERGLAR
On Wednesday, Oct. 26, the Dade County High School theatre department participated in Georgia High School Association’s One Act Play competition. For their presentation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the students earned the place of runner-up, bringing home a trophy.
Additionally, J. Crane (playing the role of Prospero) and Maddux Daniels (playing Caliban) were chosen for the All Star Cast, a group of excellent performers selected by the judges at the competition.
J. Crane has been involved in theatre since freshman year. “Despite being a small town school, we have a great drama program that would be nothing without our teacher, Jessica Wilson. I would not be who I am today without my time in drama, and I’m glad that my last one act competition ended on a high note.”
According to Maddux Daniels, “Drama is the place where someone can become who they were meant to be. We can show our emotions and use all of our trauma and turn it into something that people in the audience can react to and to enjoy…Drama is a home for all of us, and it’s a place that anyone can become anything.”
Drama teacher Jessica Wilson explained, “While The Tempest starts as a tale of revenge, by the end of the play all is well: love triumphs, and forgiveness wins the day. Storytelling is intrinsic to the human experience; our lives are dramas. Great theatre isn’t just reserved for Broadway; great theatre happens everywhere.”
Teaching at both the middle and high school, Wilson often watches the actors “grow up on our stage. I could talk forever about my wonderful kids,” she says.
This spring’s musical will be Into the Woods Jr., and the department’s next competition is the GHSA Literary Competition in March. According to Wilson, “This event encompasses debate, essay writing, choral singing, and oral interpretation.” Gabrielle Haston, chorus director, coaches this team with Wilson.
Wilson’s spring class also produces a midterm show with students of all grade levels. “Davis Elementary School third graders answer creative prompts, the middle school Theatre Arts classes write plays inspired by those responses, and the high school theatre students select six plays to produce,” Wilson explains.
“I hope to grow our department each year in terms of what our students learn in class and the quality of our competition performances,” Wilson says. Her students expressed great appreciation for Wilson, and they also noted the life-preparation, confidence, and community they gain from being part of the DCHS theatre department.
According to Arianna Clayton, “We are challenged to grow not only as actors, but as people. We are given the tools to grow more confident in ourselves not only on stage, but in life as well. We are asked to put aside our fears and anxieties…[It’s] a basis for [us] to become independent and confident adults in the future because we are taught what it means to be ourselves even as we play in different roles and personalities.”
Jayda Belue reflects on the magic of theatre. “If I had to compare theater to something, it would be to reading a book. When you are reading a story that you’re drawn into, you get transported into a different world. That’s what we do at DCHS. We transport people into different places, in different time periods, all over the world.”
Javier Mayo recalls joining drama class as a sophomore, not knowing what to expect. “[In the one act play,] I had a larger role and enjoyed being beside Aiden Ross through it all. I’m glad Ms. Wilson has given me the opportunity to be a part of her play and become a part of the drama community here in our school. Thank you for everything, Ms. Wilson!” – Javier Mayo
According to Aiden Ross, “The DCHS Theatre department has changed my life and shaped the way I think about things in the most positive way possible…This experience will stay with me for the rest of my life.”