OAP advances to Bi-District

Company takes straight 1s from the judges


Cylen Brown, Reporter

After months of working on their rendition of Jules Tasca’s The Balkan Women, the One Act Play (OAP) cast and crew performed at Teague for district competition. The company brought home first place with straight ones. They will return to Teague on March 22 to compete at bi-district.

Aside from the overall placement, four awards were given to members of the cast and crew. Sophomore Esmeralda Gonzalez received an All-Star Tech award, senior Ashley White received an All-Star Cast award, and sophomore Nicollette Arabie and senior Waylon Johnson both received the Top Performer awards.

“I don’t care that much about my award,” White said. “I’m just so proud of everyone else.”

The Balkan Women follows Lieutenant Jovan Vlaco, played by Johnson, as he works in a labor camp in Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War. He recounts his tale and how his senior Colonel Branislav Herak, played by senior Omar Almeida, and two women in the camp, Samira Jusic, played by Emma Cocking, and her mother Amina, played by White.

“I was pretty scared before we performed,” Cocking said. “But I was confident in us. I’m happy it all turned out well.”

Amina and Samira are taken in after an explosion and meet Jela Kaljanao, played by Arabie. They, along with the female ensemble consisting of freshmen Guadalupe Gonzalez and Raegyn Dennix and juniors Alani Jones and Lindsey Hardin, experience the horrors of a brutal women’s camp during a war. The male ensemble consists of freshmen Hunter Fulmer and Ashtyn Barzda and sophomores Billy Duncan and Cylen Brown.

“I didn’t feel that nervous, honestly,” Hardin said. “I felt great after the play and even better after we won.”

Many of the cast and crew members said they were especially happy for Johnson and his Top Performer award. After four years of working tech, Johnson took the stage in front of an audience for the first time at district.

“I’m so proud of Waylon,” White said. “This being his first acting role, it was crazy to see him immediately get Top Performer.”

Behind the scenes, Esmeralda Gonzalez manned the lights and freshman Tristan Cole worked on sound.

“Once I started getting my cues down, I started getting more and more confident in us,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t know we would get first, though.”

Many of the freshmen in the company said they were overjoyed about their first high school OAP experience.

“When they called us for first place, I was ecstatic,” Cole said. “My first OAP competition and we won? That was great.”

With little time between the return after spring break and the bi-district competition, some claim that they are nervous. Not all are the same, though.

“I know we could take this farther than any of us originally expected,” Fulmer said. “We’ll do good on Tuesday. I know we will advance again.”