There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.
- Charles Dickens
Laughter filled the C Gym Theatre last weekend as the Second Baptist School Theatre Company (STC) performed witty and wildly entertaining performances of two one-act plays: The Importance of Being Earnest and Bernice Bobs Her Hair. Director of Arts and the Second Theatre Company Cindy Blades, shared the reasoning for the one-act play selections this year. “Theatre and the arts have for centuries provided an escape from the troubles of society. Our hope was to allow our audiences to experience lighthearted comedies with literary notoriety, by authors of distinction.” They were unquestionably successful; audience members were transported to the roaring twenties and 19th century England with punchy music, fast-paced dance numbers and an abundance of wit.
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Audience members were already smiling as the lights came up to the jaunty tunes of the 1920’s and a stage alive with swing dance. In fact, the entire one-act play took place on a country club dance floor; the storyline came to life with the pleasant rhythms of dance, authentic period costumes and a steady stream of humor and cheek. It was hard to believe that these gifted actors were upper school students; the talent was genuine and the lines quippy. The play focused on the secrets of popularity amongst a young generation of Americans. Bernice’s famous line, expertly delivered by Caroline Bolling ‘21, says, “You’ve either got to amuse people, feed ‘em or shock ‘em.” Bernice, we were definitely amused!
The Importance of Being Earnest
Following the first brilliant one-act performance, the scene shifted to a new setting - London in 1895. Seniors Michael DiCecco ‘21 and Zac Decker ‘21 acted with great enthusiasm, playing John Worthing and Algernon Moncreif, two English gentlemen who quickly found themselves in a comedy of errors with their respective romantic interests. Theatre students wowed the crowd once again with their practiced accents and dedication to their characters. The dancing maids were another high point, making scene changes all the more amusing. The final scene brought a sense of satisfaction for the audience as the characters revealed the dramatic plot twist - John Worthing was in fact Earnest after all!
The fall drama production was completely run by the outstanding student crew. Eliza Dixon ‘21 was the stage manager and called the entire show, while Jaden Prothro ‘21 ran the sound cues and Josh Collins ‘23 was the lighting designer. Elaine Adams ‘23 was on spotlight and Avery Harder ‘21 was the sole hair and make-up crew member who made sure every cast member looked fabulous before entering the stage! The directors were proud of the amazing crew that led courageously to put on the fall drama alongside the talented actors and actresses.
Behind the Scenes - Theatre in 2020
Putting on a show is always full of twists, turns and last-minute pivots, yet doing a show during a pandemic involves more flexibility than ever before! Senior Caroline Bolling ‘21 shares, “With COVID regulations in place, I had no idea what to expect with the show, but Mrs. Blades and Mrs. Westmoreland were so creative with everything, making sure that we had the best experience we could with the current situation!”
Fall Drama Assistant Director and Honors Theatre teacher Claire Westmoreland was impressed with the determination of the entire cast and crew, saying, “The two casts worked extremely hard and quickly became accustomed to rehearsing and ultimately performing in their face shields. Even up until the closing night performance, they were determined and eager to perfect their scenes. We feel so fortunate that we were able to perform this past weekend and we are grateful for the support from the school, Second Baptist Church and families of STC.”
Before the final dress rehearsal, Director Cindy Blades prayed for the cast, crew and volunteers, saying, “We are grateful to God we get to do a show this year.” Likewise, the SBS community is thankful for the opportunity to enjoy such outstanding performances that brought a welcome escape into the world of comedy.
Advice from the Class of 2021
After the final show, STC seniors shared advice with the younger theatre students, reminding them most of all to soak up the moments they have at SBS and give it their all. Take a look at these wise words from our seniors.
Just because you don't get a big part doesn't mean you aren't any good.
Be friendly to everyone because you never know who you could be friends with.
Do crew; and don't get caught talking.
Do it all in theater and in high school. There are only so many years you get great directors as these, so do every show you can, and don’t miss out.
Enjoy the time with these people; there aren’t many like them.
Don’t look for acceptance from your peers. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible, so take risks and smile more. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that God has given to you.
I want to encourage underclassmen to be bold and make bold choices in both life and theatre. I encourage them to give every second of it all they have and leave high school and theatre with zero regrets.
Take advantage of everything, especially this year.
Join everything you can and create memories with the community and family at Second Baptist School.
Use criticism and hardships to your advantage as motivation.
Don't be afraid to take chances.
Accept tech week for what it is - really brutal but also really fun.
Spend time with the stage crew.
Sometimes you have to get back up and brush it off on a bad day.