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Judged state’s best, Bob Jones returns to SETC

MADISON – For an unprecedented ninth time, drama students at Bob Jones High School will represent the state of Alabama at Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Bob Jones one-act play, “The Recovery Act,” was chosen as first place at the state-level Walter J. Trumbauer Theatre Festival on Dec. 1-2 at the University of North Alabama.

“Of the eight times we’ve gone in the past to SETC, Bob Jones has been awarded ‘Best in Show’ three times, along with a runner-up one other time. It is our hope to bring home a fourth ‘Best in Show’ award from SETC,” drama teacher Mary Davis said. Davis and B. Dwayne Craft teach and direct Bob Jones drama students.

SETC is the nation’s largest theatre competition.

In other state honors, actors Addison McAbee and Brendan Worley were selected as members of the “All-Star Cast.”

In Individual Event or IE competition, 92 IEs qualified for state but only 87 attended because of students’ schedules and sickness. From these 87 IES, 67 performances received Superior ratings. “That’s a record for Bob Jones Theatre Department,” Davis said.

Superior-rated IEs involved several categories:

* Katie Beth Davis — Female Comedic Monologue, Novice, first place.

* Caeden Beilstien — First place in both Male Pantomime Novice and Duet Dramatic Reader’s Theatre, Novice.

* Cameron Johnson — Male Dramatic Monologue, Novice, first place.

* Bonnie Dickerson and Brendan Worley — Dramatic Duet, Varsity, first place.

* J.P. DiPietro — Makeup Design, Varsity, second place.

* Brenna Kilpatrick — Costume Design, Varsity, second place.

* Jaylen Brown — Comedic Male Monologue, Varsity.

* Caitlin Richard – Female Pantomime, Novice, second place.

* Sarah Waldrop and Carden Mayfield — Duet Dramatic Reader’s Theatre, Varsity, second place.

* Katie Beth Davis and Jude Franks — Duet Comedic Reader’s Theatre, Novice, third place.

For 2018, approximately 4,500 people will gather in Mobile for SETC. Bob Jones will be among 20 high schools competing in the secondary one-act play festival. Hoover High School also will attend from Alabama.

“‘The Recovery Act’ is a powerful snapshot into a broken America, and we feel this is an important story to tell,” Davis said. “Although our play is set in the late 1940s after World War II, it is extremely timely for today’s America.”

“Some issues seem to transcend time. Yes, there is despair, fear, and hatred all around us, but there is hope, courage and love, too. We want this story to encourage our audience to take a look at themselves, and the world that we live in,” Davis said.

“Even though we can feel helpless in the problems of today, there is one sure way to overcome them all,” Davis said. “A line in the play sums it up perfectly: ‘Love. Choosing love instead of fear. That’s the answer. That’s the way we recover. It always has been.”‘

In preparation for SETC, Bob Jones actors will perform a benefit performance of “The Recovery Act” on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in Zompa Auditorium.

Bob Jones has set up a “Gofundme” account to help defray $35,000 in travel expenses for SETC. “We thankfully accept donations of any amount and would love to be connected with any businesses that may want to sponsor us,” Craft said.

To make a donation, visit gofundme.com and search for “BJHS Patriot Players SETC Trip Fund.” Click the current account for the 2018 SETC trip to Mobile.

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