“The Diviners” wins first place at the region one-act play competition

Seniors+Jace+Cameron+and+Zane+Durham+and+junior+Randy+Miller+act+out+a+family+scene+during+their+final+rehearsal+for+the+fall+play%2C+%E2%80%9CThe+Diviners.%E2%80%9D+Cameron+and+Miller+were+awarded+with+all-star+cast+along+with+junior+Paige+Ussery+and+senior+Joshua+Jenkins+on+Oct.+26+at+the+region+one-act+play+competition.++Photo+by+Emily+Hill
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“The Diviners” wins first place at the region one-act play competition

Seniors Jace Cameron and Zane Durham and junior Randy Miller act out a family scene during their final rehearsal for the fall play, “The Diviners.” Cameron and Miller were awarded with all-star cast along with junior Paige Ussery and senior Joshua Jenkins on Oct. 26 at the region one-act play competition.  Photo by Emily Hill

Seniors Jace Cameron and Zane Durham and junior Randy Miller act out a family scene during their final rehearsal for the fall play, “The Diviners.” Cameron and Miller were awarded with all-star cast along with junior Paige Ussery and senior Joshua Jenkins on Oct. 26 at the region one-act play competition. Photo by Emily Hill

Seniors Jace Cameron and Zane Durham and junior Randy Miller act out a family scene during their final rehearsal for the fall play, “The Diviners.” Cameron and Miller were awarded with all-star cast along with junior Paige Ussery and senior Joshua Jenkins on Oct. 26 at the region one-act play competition. Photo by Emily Hill

Seniors Jace Cameron and Zane Durham and junior Randy Miller act out a family scene during their final rehearsal for the fall play, “The Diviners.” Cameron and Miller were awarded with all-star cast along with junior Paige Ussery and senior Joshua Jenkins on Oct. 26 at the region one-act play competition. Photo by Emily Hill

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The drama department put on this year’s fall play, “The Diviners,” from Oct. 9-12. After performing the full-length production at school, they performed an abridged version as a one-act play at Allatoona High School on Oct. 26. They came first out of seven schools, and Jace Nichols, Randy Miller, Paige Ussery, and Joshua Jenkins won all-star cast. 

The drama teacher, Mr. Gerald Parker, directed the show with help from the former drama teacher, Ms. Janice Lewis. Parker and Lewis have worked together to produce “The Diviners” three other times: in 1995, 2001, and 2009. 

“I tell the actors each time we do the show that their interpretation may be different than another actors’ interpretation, but when the characters come to life, I always recognize them,” Parker said. 

“The Diviners” is very special to Parker, who first saw the show during his senior year of college when his roommate played the part of Buddy. 

“The show was incredibly moving, and I can relate to many of the characters because many of them speak and behave like people I knew as a child,” Parker said. “The themes of the play involve the inevitable sadness that is part of love, because no kind of worthwhile love is without loss and sacrifice, and this is reflected in all aspects of life, including religion.” 

Junior Randy Miller played the role of C.C. Showers, a former preacher struggling with his beliefs. To get into character, Miller watched videos of other productions and of preachers who shared the same beliefs as his character to see how they talked and carried themselves. 

“I tried to think of a character [whose] sole purpose was to get away from his old life and try to be this new person, but everyone wants him to be what he was. So, I tried to connect it to my life in small ways,” Miller said. 

Although Miller had acted in previous high school productions, this role helped him to grow further as an actor. 

“I felt this character helped me as an actor to start listening to other characters and truly figure out how my character would react in certain situations,” Miller said. 

Senior Max Kountz played a townsperson named Eugene Dreiser. Although the townspeople were just in the opening and closing of the play, Kountz was also a student director. 

“At home I would go through everything I needed to do for [my] part. I would also give some notes and help people rehearse as the student director,” Kountz said. 

Kountz has been on the cast or crew of every show since his freshman year. This experience in multiple aspects of theater has benefitted him over the years. 

“I’ve improved at my acting skills, and I know how to do many crew positions which I believe will help me in the future because I want to be a theater educator,” Kountz said. “Every show is different and there are many new and old faces, but I think I had some of the most fun times during this show.” 

The cast was not made of all veterans. Freshman Caleb Nelson made his debut in high school theater in this play as a townsperson.

During their final rehearsal, juniors Kristin Kimberly and Olivia Adams and sophomore Peyton Sapp run through lines together during a scene. “The Diviners” was performed from Oct. 9-12. Photo by Emily Hill

“I really just wanted to be a part of the cast and gain experience,” Nelson said. “I felt comfortable with the situation because I knew my fellow cast mates.” 

After many rehearsals, the play began to come together, and Nelson saw their hard work begin to pay off. 

“[The highlight of the experience was] when we finally hit our stride and everyone was into their character and understanding the script,” Nelson said. “When we had our first show, everyone was so excited at intermission and we were proud of each other for our hard work.” 

The show also had help behind the scenes from crew members. Crew members check the set and props and help the cast with lines, among other responsibilities. Madison Stewart was a stage manager and monitored the cast members to make sure they met their cues. 

“[To prepare, I] made notes on my script and introduced myself to the script to where I knew the part we were working with,” Stewart said. 

The crew practiced almost every day that the cast did and had to make sure the show ran smoothly. These responsibilities could be stressful. 

“[After the show was over, I felt] relieved; I love doing it but the week before a show is very stressful, so once you know that it’s over and you did a good job you feel very happy and proud of yourself,” Stewart said. 

After their win at the regional competition, the cast and crew will continue to the state one-act competition in November. 

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