One-Act Play wins Bi-District, advances to Region


The Bear Stage Players recently won Bi-District and will compete at Region in April.

Katlyn Owens, Writer

After competing at the District and Bi-District levels of competition, Troupe 1115 has advanced to Region with its One-Act play performance of “Blue Stockings” and will perform in the next round on Thursday, April 15.

At the district level of competition on March 13, the troupe received several awards. Freshman Jessica Ridout was named to the All-Star Cast, while seniors Rylie Dollar and John Paul Sulak were given Honorable Mention. Sophomore stage manager Hayden Gilley received the title of Outstanding Technician, while the entire tech crew was named Outstanding Tech Team (seniors George Lambing, Kylie Jo Goodman, Wren Owens, juniors Luna McCarver and Paris Carrell, and sophomore Nick Young). 

At Bi-District competition on March 20, the troupe placed first and brought home several more awards. Dollar was named to the All-Star Cast, while Ridout was named Best Performer. Junior Layden Webb and sophomore Cole Watson received Honorable Mention, while McCarver was named Outstanding Technician.

According to theatre director Ashley Dennison, it felt incredibly rewarding to advance to the third round of competition.

“Normally three advance out of Bi-District to Area but due to Covid, they eliminated the Area round so only two advanced,” she said. “95 percent of these kids have never really competed in the UIL One-Act Play so their success this year is such a huge accomplishment.”

Even though this is Jessica Ridout’s first year to perform and compete, she has been around theatre her whole life and being able to advance her freshman year felt unreal.

“After putting in so much time, it felt so rewarding to be able to move on in the competition,” Ridout said.

According to stage manager Hayden Gilley, the biggest improvement he has seen amongst the troupe is the relationships between the cast and crew.

“It’s kind of like a second family,” he said. “We have a great show that can go very far. We just need to really focus up.”

The troupe is working hard to prepare for Region and Dennison said being coachable and vulnerable on stage will help improve their performance.

“To be a good actor, you have to put yourself out there and try new things,” she said. “They’ve been willing to go above and beyond for each other and it shows on the stage. They definitely still need to work on their discipline and establishing a strong routine. That comes with time and working more together.”

Dennision said the overall message of the play focuses on societal change and how people adapt versus how they try to fight against it.

“I think change is inevitable and how you respond to and/or implement said change is what makes the difference in how society functions. It’s completely relevant to today and I hope it gives people some perspective on how they themselves act when presented with change.”