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These days, it is not uncommon for plans to be postponed or events to be cancelled. High schoolers are no strangers to this, as every event seems to have an asterisk next to it on the calendar, but when opportunities arise, students are always eager to make the most of them. The BHS Theatre program has greatly felt the effects of the pandemic this year, with most of its shows being cancelled. However, students will compete in the GHSA Region One-Act Competition in February.

The One-Act Play competition is a unique opportunity for theatre programs to showcase talents and abilities to adapt a show to fit specific time and performance restrictions. This means sections of shows have to be cut out and changes have to be perfected to shorten the show. When shows go to compete, they are given one shot to perform in front of three judges. The judges then score the show, and the top performance from each region will move on to the state competition. There are also other awards that are given for Best Actor and Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Ensemble, and All Star Cast. 

Buford has had plenty of success in the One-Act Competition recently, winning the 5A state championship in 2016, 2018 and 2019. This year, the Wolf Pack Players will look to continue their success at the regional competition with the musical “Bright Star,” a story about the love of a family and their triumph over darkness. The show is full of surprises and turns, as the characters find their pasts and futures intertwining. 

Of course, this year’s competition will be different from years past. No audiences will be in attendance, and COVID protocols will be in place on the day of competition. Rehearsals and classes have also been different this year. COVID protocols have pulled students out of in-person rehearsals, making it more difficult to focus and practice certain things. Additionally, masks and contact tracing have added an awkward obstacle to rehearsals that the cast has had to overcome. Just recently, all of the leads in the show were not present for rehearsals for two weeks due to contact tracing. Even with these obstacles, the cast is confident their hard work and dedication will pay off when it comes down to competition time on Feb. 6.

James Morgan and Kennedi Nichols are two of the seniors in the cast of the competition show this year. James has been involved with theatre since seventh grade when he joined the Junior Thespians. Since then, he has performed in such productions as “Singing in the Rain,” “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and “Catch Me If You Can.” This will be the second time James has been cast in the One-Act show, and he is very excited for the performance. 

Kennedi has been in theatre since elementary school, and she has competed in the One-Act competition twice already, as a sophomore and a junior. Her favorite role was in the show “Company” because it was her first One-Act show and her first leading role. 

Both James and Kennedi are in the Advanced Musical Theatre class at BHS. In the show this year, Kennedi plays the role of the protagonist’s mother, Mama Murphy. James can be seen as the main antagonist of the show, Mayor Josiah Dobbs. While audiences have not been allowed to attend the few performances so far this year, as of now, people will be allowed to see the show in person on April 18, 19 and 20 at the BHS Performing Arts Center. Good luck to James, Kennedi and all of our seniors in their last State One-Act competition. Break a leg!

This past year has been a tough time for students, but moments like these will prove to be bright spots looking back. As the BHS Theatre program looks to continue its success at the One-Act competition, we wish the best for them in their health and their performance. Go Wolves!

— Torin Smith

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Deanna Allen has served as editor of the North Gwinnett Voice since June 2021. Effective communication and creative design are her passions.

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