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Piedmont takes top honors

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

Piedmont Academy's One-Act Play cast and crew recently took home top honors at the GISA Region 1AA One-Act Play competition in November at Augusta Preparatory Day School.

The group received first place rankings from all three judges, who gave the group a total score of 294 out of 300, more than 60 points higher than the second place play from Nathanael Greene Academy. As a result, both schools represented their region in state competitions later in the month.

The region competition also featured performances of students from Brentwood School, Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School and Westminster Christian Academy.

This year, Piedmont's troupe performed Jonathan Rand's "Check, Please," a short comedy that portrays the perils of blind dating as the story follows a guy and a girl who separately participate in dates set up by their friends.

Senior Trevor Wilson and freshman Samantha Ramsdell played the lead roles of Guy and Girl, and both were recognized by the judges at the region competition. They also received Outstanding Performance Awards honors which are given only to five students out of the whole group of students performing for the day.

The judges also had high praise for the ensemble of characters who play the blind dates for the guy and girl. Senior Matt Sessions plays the roles of Mark, and theatre veteran Rachel Wilkerson doubled in two roles as Mary and Linda. Matthew O'Brien, the lone junior of the theatre troupe, plays the role of Brandon.

Though new to the Piedmont stage, sophomores Davis Kimball and Samuel McGinnis have been in several community productions and both played dual roles with Kimball, filling the roles of Louis and Tod, and McGinnis portraying Ken and Manny.

Newcomers Audrey Cleary and Lucy Strickland, both freshmen, played the roles of Melanie and Mimi, respectively.

Filling out the cast were two eighth graders who have both been involved in community theatre. In the role of Pearl was Michaela Rossi, and in the role of Sophie was Emmie Kelly.

Also winning high praise for their non-speaking roles were the crew members who move and arrange the set before the play is performed. They also serve as the restaurant crew who take care of the guys and girls on their respective dates.

Leading the crew are seniors Christina Clark as the restaurant manager, Lana Hiett as the hostess and Randi Small as the lead server. Also helping as servers are freshman Carly Cain and eighth graders Savannah McGinnis and Katie Odegaard.

The lone technical crew member was eighth grader Gabe Hestad, who ran lights and sound for this year's production.

The judges praised the excellent characterizations of every person on stage and loved the interplay between the characters. They loved the pacing of the performance which they judges say is lively starting with the set up and continuing throughout the production up until the very end.

Piedmont teacher and literary coordinator Bobbi Sauls was the director of this play, and she was assisted by former Piedmont teacher and theater veteran Mary Beth Marsh. Assisting with various aspects of the production were Piedmont staffers Vickie Mills and Suzanne Arena.