Uvalde High School drama students are running through last rehearsals in preparation for taking their one-act play to the first level of UIL competition set Tuesday.
The play selected by theatre teacher Christela Mendoza this year is an unusual one. She chose “Cut” by Ed Monk. It’s about a group of actors rehearsing a play within a play. They begin to forget who is playing whom and who the actual director is. When things start to get really confusing, they start to forget who they really are as well.
Mendoza saw the amount of interest in one-act play among UHS students and wanted to find a show with a large cast. This production has a total of 16 cast members, two of whom are understudies, and five crew/tech members.
“It’s a comedy, and comedies aren’t done often [in competition],” Mendoza said. Auditions were carried out in mid-January. Callbacks to individual students were based on their preparation, dedication, memorization of two comedic monologues and personal schedule from then through performance time in March.
For the callback process, Mendoza chose scenes from the play that were challenging. And she put the students through various scenarios.
“I split all the people apart. I gave them five minutes to gather their groups, then I’d come by, watch them perform, and then switch around people to different groups.”
Selected for the cast and crew for the production are Emilio Amaya, Karibeth Bingham, Haley Blenkinsop, Orvel Casey, Nely Chambers, Ellenore Dorris, Gabriella Fallas, Joel Ibarra, Isabella Leos and LeAna Lopez. Also working on the production are Daniela Mata, Isabella Muñoz, Kimberly Muñoz, Alesandra Padilla, Izach Riley, Julissa Romero, Alaina Sosa, Jason Vargas and Shaelyn Velasquez.
The upcoming zone level is the first step in the one-act play competition. The UHS production will be pitted against performances of students from Somerset, Legacy, Harlan and Medina Valley high schools. Each school is given 40 minutes to perform for judges. UHS is first in line to perform.
Mendoza hopes that her UIL team will be able to perform their production for audiences at the high school after UIL competition is completed. Those details are yet to be worked out.
“It’s a really fun play, and I hope that the school and community will come support us,” she said.
First on the agenda is seeing the play move forward in competition.