CHHS theater students shine

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The theater students at Charles Henderson High School lived up to the expectations of their director, Jessica Boothe.

That was no surprise. In fact, Boothe would have been surprised if her students had not performed to the level of her high expectations at the Trumbauer competition held at Auburn High School.

“Trumbauer is the longest running competition of its sorts in Alabama,” Boothe said. “It has been going on for decades. Students must receive superior ratings at the district competition to advance to state.”

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At Trumbauer, the CHHS theater students competed against students from the largest high schools in the district and also against students from private and magnet schools.

“Our students were up against some really big schools and they lived up to my expectations,” Boothe said. “I expected them to really shine because they were well prepared and polished.

“Leading up to festival day, it was evident to me that they were ready to perform. Our kids stood out among the others. They were a standout group. They held their own against those larger schools and that says a lot about our school and our students.”

Boothe said the students performed in different categories and performed to their abilities.

“We competed in Reader’s Theater and that’s something that we have never done before,” Boothe said. “Readers Theater is similar to duet acting but the ‘readers’ are seated. It was a lot of fun and that’s something that we will want to do again.”

CHHS Theater’s “The Audition” received the first place award for Best in Show Ensemble and Katie Blocher received the Best Actress in an Ensemble Award for her role as Soleil in “The Audition.”

“Angel Norris, Briana Hooten, Tara Youngblood, Katie Blocher and Samantha Bhatti from the cast of “The Audition” received “All Star Cast” Awards.

“These awards spotlight outstanding performances in ensembles and one-act plays,” Boothe said. “We also had students who received superior scores and will advance to the state competition December 4 and 5.

Those students are Kathryn Kelly, Tara Youngblood, Angel Norris, Jamal Carswell and Zeric Foster, comedic monolog; Katie Blocher, solo pantomime; Michael Rader and Katie Blocher, comedic duet acting; Luke Herndon and Briana Hooten, Ariel Peterson and Jamal Carswell and Olivia Bensinger and Tara Youngblood, Reader’s Theater comedic; and Melissa Cain, stage management.

Boothe expressed appreciation to the Troy City Schools Education Foundation and the Troy Arts Council for funding assistance for the general production cost throughout the semester and in support of the Trumbauer competition.

“We are extremely grateful to them for their continued support of the theater program at Charles Henderson High School,” Boothe said. “We have three more productions this year and we have some really talented kids. They are always thirsty to see and learn from other performances. They are eager to learn. They soak up every opportunity.”