James Clemens to encore ‘Alabama Rain’ on Nov. 27

Theatre students at James Clemens High School will present an encore performance of their award-winning “Alabama Rain” on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Taylor Benson and Jessi Hicks perform in "Alabama Rain" (Photo courtesy of Amy Patel)

At the Walter J. Trumbauer Drama Festival for District I, James Clemens’ “Alabama Rain” won “Best Ensemble,” “Best Technical Production” and “Best of Show,” giving the troupe a berth to the state festival at the University of North Alabama in Florence on Nov. 29 through Dec. 1.

“Best Ensemble” denoted the cast worked together as a unified group, drama instructor Amy Patel said. “Best Technical Production” indicates outstanding “overall use of all the technical elements — set, props, costumes, lighting, sound and hair/makeup.”

In additions, students Sandra Gates (Rachel) and Taylor Benson (Laurie Laurie) were named to the All-Star Cast.

The encore on Nov. 27 will begin with individual performances from students who earned superior ratings and advanced to the state festival for monologues, duo scenes, pantomimes and songs.

James Clemens will have 52 students at the state festival.

On learning about their awards, student Jessi Hicks “cried for 30 minutes because I was so happy and surprised. It’s our first year, and none of us had ever competed before, so no one was really expecting us to do well.”

However, Skyler Mittman expected to go to ‘state.’ “But I was still excited we did. The reason we picked this play is because we thought, if we did it right, it could make it to state,” Mittman said.

“It was an overwhelming feeling seeing how far we came and how we ended up. We really did it,” Katelyn Jenkins said. Amanda Jackson loved watching everyone else’s reactions. “They were screaming, hugging, yelling, crying,” Jackson said.

Sandra Gates said the best feeling from the win “was when all the other schools turned around and cheered for us.”

“It felt like one of those cheesy movies when the underdog rises above,” Bekah Dunn said.

Tickets to the “Alabama Rain” encore are $5 and available at the door or showtix4u.com.

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