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SETC lauds Bob Jones’ set, actors

Atmosphere and authenticity led to the "Best Set" award for Bob Jones High School's production of "The Axeman's Requiem" at Southeastern Theatre Conference. CONTRIBUTED
Atmosphere and authenticity led to the “Best Set” award for Bob Jones High School’s production of “The Axeman’s Requiem” at Southeastern Theatre Conference. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – “The Axeman’s Requiem” one-act play by Bob Jones High School earned overall “Best Set” and ensemble and solo acting awards at Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in Greensboro, N.C. on March 2-6.

The three-unit set depicted New Orleans’ French Quarter, Cafe Du Monde, Baron’s Lair, Tilde’s bedroom and Christian Women’s Exchange.

A major strength for the set was its versatility with two interiors, two street scenes and a dungeon-like setting. Versatility “probably played a large part of the set’s success,” director B. Dwayne Craft said. “The detailed painting, three-dimensional elements and color choice were part of the success, also.”

“We could fold up (units) for a scene, turn them around and open for another scene,” director Mary Davis said. “3D elements made them ‘pop’ and look more realistic.”

Winning “Best Small Ensemble,” Olivia Carroll, Briana Caudle, Abigail Hubbard and Anna Spengler portrayed the Loas, or supernatural spirits in voodoo. Painted in kaleidoscopic body paint, the Loas squirmed and crawled to ensure the Baron’s bidding.

“Mary Davis spent a great deal of time perfecting the Loas’ movements,” Craft said. “Two girls had formal dance training and were aware of physicality already.”

“All-Star Cast” members are Anna McAbee, Daniel Darnell and Emily McDowell. “Their roles stood out within the show: The Baron (Darnell) for shock value and vocal control; Marie (McDowell) using white magic through voodoo; and Eliese (McAbee) so committed to her innocent character,” Davis said.

“Our All-Star performers were fierce,” Craft said. “They were definitely ‘on’ for that performance.”

“I could not be more proud of the cast, crew, student director and costumers — everyone who had a hand with the show. It was a challenging play to direct, with such diverse characters, but a fun one to direct,” Davis said.

“The kids had a stellar performance. At a level like SETC, you’re competing with the absolute best from 10 states. There’s rarely a question of quality … it’s more like judging who more perfectly executes their particular type of play,” Craft said.

First-place winner was Rock Ridge High School in Virginia with “Ernest and the Pale Moon.”

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