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HCHS wins first at one-act play festival
SoVaNow.com / October 16, 2013The Halifax County High School play competition team traveled to Magna Vista High School on Oct. 12 and scored a big win in the first year for the new district alignment under the Virginia High School League’s recent reorganization.
It also marked six years in a row of district championships for the Comets who previously were in the now discontinued Western-Valley District.
The Halifax team performed “A Piece of my Heart” by Shirley Lauro. The play focuses on the lives of a group of nurses in Vietnam, both during the war and after they return home. It was a total victory for the Comets as they received the first place vote of all judges.
In addition to winning the District Championship, the Comets dominated the individual recognition, claiming three of the five All District Acting awards. Kayleigh Long, Emily Slayton, and Alishia Ewell were named to the All District Cast. For Long and Slayton it was their first competition play. Ewell has been a leading member of the team for four years and received her first all District recognition.
The response to the performance from the judges and audience members was overwhelmingly positive. Comments from judges recognized the entire cast for their performances. Katie Holland, RaeAnn Inman, and Jessica Hinds played nurses, and Jason Fitts and Christian Roach played multiple roles throughout the show.
Play director Greg Donner was extremely happy with the win and the responses from the audience members.
“After the performance we were all praised by the members of the audience including competitors from other schools. Many people have told us how moving the story was and how our actors touched them with the realism of the portrayals,” Donner said.
The team had a dress rehearsal for family members and invited guests prior to the competition and the response was the same. The play has been especially well received by veterans who have indicated that the show touches them in a very personal way. Donner hopes to have several public performances in the near future as the team prepares for their conference championship in February.
“Winning the district in the first year of the reorganization feels good. We managed to win the Western Valley District six out of seven years that we participated, including the past five years. It is rewarding for me that we can move to a new and larger district and show that we are equally competitive in a different setting. I am also happy for our actors who received All District recognition,” Donner said.
One judge’s comment summed it up very succinctly. “I have to say there were quite a few scenes that brought tears to my eyes! You all bring such a mature and serious perspective to this issue.”