From District to Area

Haley Bunnell, Staff Writer

     Determination and practice have paid off for the cast of the one-act play “The Cripple of Inishman,” who is advancing to Area after winning District alongside Flower Mound High School on April 3. Kicking Plano West High School and Marcus High School out of the competition last week, the nine actors will head to Keller, TX to compete against five other schools Friday, April 13, where only two schools will proceed to Region.

     “It’s really exciting,” senior Rob Mora said. “But at the same time it is nerve racking because every time you perform at a competition you don’t know if it will be your last time performing. But I feel like we are prepared and ready.”

     Two years ago, the one-act play was the alternate at Region, but this year the cast hopes to compete.

     “It would be incredible if we made it to region, because we would be performing on Texas Tech’s stage, miss three days of school, and get a hotel,” Mora said. “Also if we advance then we might have another public performance which would be great for everybody to see the show because it is a very different show from before. I think it will bring something new to the table that people haven’t seen before.”

     At the District competition, the judge noted that the play needed something more, so character changes were implemented. The old Irish woman, Mammy, played by senior Katherine Imwalle, is more senile and crazy than before. Johnny, played by junior Cam Wenrich, once was performed grumpy and old, but now is more youthful and childish and has a new love interest with Ilene, played by senior Emma Barishman.

     “When we perform it over again and again, we discover new things about our character that we didn’t know before,” Imwalle said. “This makes them more like new people. It progresses in that way and becomes more complex because you get all of you character quirks. Also part of it is the director’s choice and what he thinks will look better, make the show more interesting and more dynamic, and have it come all together.”

     Although there were a few mistakes last performance, such as forgetting a line, the cast still moved on to Area and received many awards. Three cast members, Wenrich, junior Julia Bauer, and senior Denis Ryaznov were awarded the All Star Cast Award, Mora received the Honorable Mention All Star Cast award, senior Joe Heike received Outstanding Technician, and the whole crew was awarded Best Crew.

     “If the judge feels like the star shines, she will write them down, but it is all her subjective opinion,” Wenrich said. “It is a great honor to win the award. Whenever I win an award it is an awesome feeling going on stage and receiving it and being appreciated for my talent.”

     Out of the ten males that auditioned only five made the cut, Mora being one of them. Not only did he make it to one-act, but he also received his first award for theater.

     “It was nice and a lot of people said I deserved it,” Mora said. “It was cool seeing the work I put in for the show, the new changes that I tried to implement get commented on, and even the judge said I was a ‘macho man.’ One-act was the one thing I had been looking forward to all year.”

     According to Wenrich the most special things happen right before the show goes on.

     “We do a speed-through to get us pumped up and get on our cues on time so we can get it under 40 minutes so that’s always fun,” Wenrich said. “Right before we go on, we do this thing where we start out, ‘Oh I feel so good, ah I knew I would, oh I feel so good,’ and then it keeps going on, and everybody does it, and by the end it’s just crazy, everybody jumping around. That is always my favorite part before any show.”

     The group spends a lot of time together whether it is practicing almost every day until 6:30 p.m., goofing off in the backstage greenroom or the bus rides to and from the competitions.

     “It is a really cool group of people, and we are all really close,” Imwalle said. “One-act has helped me grow and get more experiences. We are all just a big old dysfunctional Irish family.”