– by Hart Z, senior –
The Readers’ Theatre team, led by Mrs. Darby, won 1st place at both regional and state competition, overcoming incredible odds and demonstrating the overwhelming dedication of the students.
“From the very beginning, I knew we had a group that blended and worked together, wonderfully,” said Mrs. Darby, coach. “We practiced a lot and were very confident about the regional competition.”
The six-member team performed an adaptation of The Three Little Pigs in ODACS competition this year. Despite accidentally skipping almost two pages of the script at regionals, God blessed that day with the win, and the team advanced to state. They continued to practice, but a few days before the competition, the Big Bad Wolf, Jayden L, fell sick and no one knew if he would be able to perform.
“I was really nervous for readers’ theatre,” said Julie U, senior and cast member. “Every other music category Jayden was in had a backup plan to fill his role, but we didn’t.”
The night before state competition, Jayden sent a text that he was too sick to attend. Mrs. Darby began reworking the script so that Nathan Hernandez, senior narrator in the play, would take over the lines for the wolf, and Julie Upchurch would take the narrator lines. Fortunately, after practicing so much, the team already knew all the lines for each other.
“I was totally up for the challenge of learning his lines,” said Nathan H, senior, “I took my Political Science test that morning and then practiced with Mrs. Darby the rest of the time until our 3:30 p.m. performance.”
The rest of the cast members really wanted to quit, but after a rehearsal in the freezing wind outside, there was a glimmer of hope that it might not go as badly as once thought.
God was definitely testing their faith in this difficult moment. The performance was almost flawless. The room erupted into cheers at the end, and they won the state competition and advanced to nationals.
“I was really surprised at how smooth our performance was,” said Carson A, sophomore cast member. “If we won or not, I knew we still did our absolute best.”
“I was so proud of the team and would not exchange what happened for anything,” said Mrs. Darby. “God clearly showed us that he was with us, and just because an obstacle comes up, doesn’t mean you should quit.”