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HCS Theatre Programs Place at Trumbauer

December 2, 2017
Jason Gaston

Congratulations to both HCS high schools and their theatre departments, both of which won big at the Trumbauer State Theatre Festival at the University of North Alabama the first weekend of December.

Hoover High School won the top award for its play "Radium Girls." Out of seventeen plays presented, Hoover HS's performance was one of two chosen to represent Alabama at the upcoming Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC).  "Radium Girls" centers around the true story of women poisoned by radium while working in a watch factory, according to director Nancy Malone. The show also won Best Scenery.  Actor Warren Griggs earned an All-Star Cast Award.

In individual events, Anna Grace Steele and Jordan Denson won third place in the Duet Musical Category.

Spain Park High School was also named Best in Show with its original one act, "Deeds Not Words."  Director Michael St. John crafted the performance following a summer 2017 student on the women's suffrage movement.  St. John won a grant which enabled him to travel to New York as well as the United Kingdom to study the movement and bring back real-world application to his program at Spain Park HS.

"[Deeds Not Words] is the result of the Fund for Teachers grant I received last May (I traveled to the UK and to Seneca Falls, NY, to study the origins of the women's suffrage movement); students wrote an original one-act based upon the life of Lady Constance Lytton, an English aristocrat who disguised herself as a working-class woman in order to join the suffragette movement," St. John said.

Students did quite a bit of research on the subject during the creation process. This included each performer starting a character journal, in which they included photos, newspaper articles, letters, etc, surrounding their characters. 

Prior to Trumbauer, "Deeds Not Words" won Best in Show, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Ensemble (as well as several other awards) at the district competition.

Additionally, six Spain Park High School theatre students placed in the top three in the state for their individual events:
Rachel Ponder (Best Actress, One-Act)
Shanya Blocker and Mary V. McKinley (3rd Place, Varsity Readers' Theatre Dramatic)
Hope Elyse Brown (1st Place, Novice Solo Female Musical Comedy)
Stanton Spencer (2nd Place Novice Solo Male Musical Comedy)
Caroline Nowak (3rd Place, Varsity Lighting Design)
Wilson Dillard (1st Place Varsity Stage Management)
SPHS even garnered Twitter recognition from Henry Lytton (@HenryCobboldKH next in line to be the Baron of Cobbold), the great-great nephew of Constance Lytton who is the subject of "Deeds Not Words."

Tweet from Henry Cobbold