February 21, 2011 10:41:00 AM
Starkville High School thespians are calling on family, friends, and contributors for support in their bid to win a national trophy. The theater department must finance a trip for 33 cast and crew to the Southeastern Theater Conference national competition in Atlanta March 2-6.
Plans for Starkville School District support of the trip are underway. Expenses are expected to far exceed district contributions, so community support is needed.
SHS''s award-winning rendition of Kenneth Scollian''s "The Purple Fan" recounts the journey of Davis Richardson as "Jing Ho," a ghost named "Jug Li" played by Akane Little, and an old man, "Mu Chung," played by Louis Codling across China to find the lost prince.
Hal Sullivan, the Lord High Executioner, chases the trio through the trials of this whimsical, ancient land. Lauren Hughes, Rex Ames, Mary Kate Hughes, Bailey Brocato, Victoria Hearn and Aaron Remontigue are part of a cast that doubles as the play''s stage scenery.
The work was awarded the Mississippi Theater Association''s 2011 Dominic Cunetto Award for top high school festival production Jan.16, advancing the production. This will be the high school''s first trip to national competition since 1998.
Cast members Jordan Cohen, Silas Knox, Sarah Norris, Elizabeth Underwood, and Lacy Claire Whitten also play integral roles in the creation of the colorful stage using only actors and silk fabrics to create a giant magic tree, a bubbling waterfall, stormy seas, a burning forest and an extinguishing rainfall.
Stage managers Treasure Huffman and Isabella Vilella, together with technical cast/crew members Jack Bryan, Nathan Ansel Wilhelm Liano, Duncan Watson, Mikala Taylor, Jessie Hsu make for a huge Starkville showing at SETC.
Additionally, George Bennett, Rachel Damms, Mike Klaskala, Colin Damms, Ty Davis, Nick Bell, Hunter Smith, Laura Kathryn Lindsey, Sarah Beth Sewell, and Caleb Smith were individual award winners in a myriad of MTA''s theatrical events and will also travel to the competition. The group is led by theater teachers Mandy Kinny and Joe Evans.
Credit card contributions are being accepted by the SHS Thespians'' Booster Club through the Starkville Foundation for Public Education. To contribute electronically, visit the Boosters'' link at starkvillefoundation.org. Checks may be mailed to Starkville Foundation for Public Education-SHS Thespians, P.O. Box 2307, Starkville, MS 39760.