On Wednesday, the Drama group gathered up EARLY to head out to Carrollton for the GISA Region One-Act Play contest. Lydia and Ryan (Lafitte) took lead with the cast and crew, with a HUGE assist from Ryan Reddy on this production, who had not only located most of our furniture for the show, and stepped up to drive the set over to Carrollton, and spent all day supporting us with loading and unloading and everything else, but ALSO provided home-made doughnuts for the group in the morning! (Additional thanks to Tangela McFarlane, Laura Finnell and many other staff I’m too brain-dead to keep straight right now, for contributions to this show! And to the Drama Parents for keeping the kids fed at practices and on the road! Also, many thanks to Laurel Crowe and Georgia Ensemble Theatre for all of the extra support you’ve put in over the years with many of these students, training up this talent!)

It was a smooth drive to Carrollton, and The Cottage School got to be the lone representatives of the comedy genre, amid Lagrange Academy’s Bystander 9/11, Oak Mountain Academy’s horror-themed The Experiment, and St. George Episcopal School’s HIV drama The Yellow Boat. (Fierce competition indeed, as Lagrange and Oak Mountain have a long history of Region wins, and St. George recently achieved 2nd-place at the State level!)

Our group has worked very hard, amid several hurdles this semester, on Stephen Gregg’s This is a Test, a very high-stress comedy about taking a brutal test at school that just goes from bad to worse. On crew, we had Adam Tepper in the booth running sound & lights (only the 2nd student from TCS to ever do so at GISA!), Zoë Gallagher as our stage manager (and, of course, makeup artist), and Drama newcomer Zack Klotz in charge of our projector and slides for a tech-heavy show. 

On the performance side, Charles Young kicked things off as the VOICE of the test (a rare, off-stage role.) Andrew Rogoff portrayed ALAN, our bedraggled, hapless, unfortunate test-taker. Bella Aparicio provided counterpoint as LOIS, Alan’s completely prepared, totally put-together friend. Alexis Nerenberg brought to life the unsympathetic TEACHER that nobody would want to run into in this situation. Christopher Martini, Alex Verren, and Gabe Cronin worked together as the CHORUS of distracting thoughts going on in Alan’s head. Grayson Burnside-Wheeler as CHRIS and Kevan Thieriot as PAT rounded out the rest of the group of distracting and/or outright cheating students. Tonya Underwood (in addition to some life-saving backstage work on prop & set repair) pulled double duty as ELAINE, the hot-shot athlete who aces the test despite showing up late, and also Alan’s MOTHER in a flashback sequence. This show also featured the on-stage debut of longtime crew member Zoë as the GIRL who further distracts Alan by showing up in his thoughts during a stressful moment.

The audience were laughing through the whole show. The sound technician working the event remarked “that one was my favorite!” as soon as the show was over. We heard several positive comments from other school’s cast, crew, and directors. Lagrange’s lead senior came over to our group with several friends while the judges were deliberating and said “You guys can hop back up there and do This is a Test again right now. No joke; we’re down!” (Later we would also see many supportive comments from the judges!) 

When the judges were done, the verdict came in: Honorable Mentions were awarded to Charles Young (even though his role was entirely off-stage!) and Alexis Nerenberg! Two of the five coveted GISA Best Acting designations were awarded to our actors: one to Andrew Rogoff, and the other collectively awarded to Christopher Martini, Alex Verren, and Gabe Cronin! And for the show rankings, TCS earned 2nd place overall and a trip to GISA State One-Act next week!

No drama group in TCS history has ever brought home more hardware from competition. This is only the 2nd group in the history of the school to go to State One-Act, and the first ever to do so at the GISA double-A level. Please congratulate our actors and crew as you see them!

The TCS school performance will shift to Monday, November 8 at 6pm. We hope to see you there!