Theater/Drama News
Jayanta Behera

The audience and judges of this fall’s upcoming One Act Competition should bring tissues because Cedartown High School’s drama department finished casting for Shirley Lauro’s dramatic play, “A Piece of My Heart.”

The annual One-Act Competition pits same region high schools against each other in a day-long event to see who can best perform a play lasting only one act.

Winners are decided by a panel of 3 random judges, and regional winners advance to the state level where a single cast is crowned as the winner.

CHS has won a total of 5 regional championships with their performances of “Help Wanted,” “The Diviners,” “Of Widows and Vegetables,” “A Thousand Cranes,” and, “Hush Little Celia, Don’t Say A Word.”

Cedartown High is staying true to its history of performing character driven dramas with their 2017 selection. “A Piece of My Heart” follows the story of nurses who served in the Vietnam War. Based on true stories, the play highlights the often gritty, tragic realities of war and how the conflict affects people.

Casting of the play required “6 actresses whom I know I could count on to play these characters with dignity and honor,” said the school’s drama director of 21 years Chris Reaves. “The 6 young women that were cast are bright, hard working, and have generous hearts — exactly what this play calls for.”

Representing Cedar­town for 2017’s One Act will be: Gabby Woodward as Martha, Emily Mcdonald as Maryjo. Caroline Gammage as Sissy, Cam Lorys as Whitney, Alexis Ayers as LeeAnn, Asia Turner as Steele and Drake Benefield as “Hank.” Colton Jones, Isiah Beck, and Benefield will be performing as soldiers and various male roles.

“Cedartown High has a proud tradition of excellent theatre, said Reaves.“My goal is to do good work. I want my students to perform with their hearts and provide a good performance; after that, it’s up to the 3 judges who might give us a different score on a different day.”

Cedartown’s first rehearsal began Monday, August 28th, and Reaves left off with a note mentioning “the strength of the Cedartown High School Theatre Department has always been the same-the students. They are used to overcoming obstacles that would break other performers. Another strength is tradition! Good theatre captures a magical moment in time, live, on a stage in front of strangers. Cedartown High theatre students do that well and always have. It is our tradition.”