Rockmart High School’s theater department took audience members all across the galaxy with the opening night performance of “The Little Prince,” and with plans to compete at the annual One-Act Competition on Oct. 26, the group hopes to share the little prince’s story with both regional and state judges.
Two final showings of the play will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. Student tickets are $5; Adult tickets are $7.
The Little Prince- played by Rob Laltrello- is based on the novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery that tells the tale of the galaxy traveling Little Prince who meets the stranded Aviator, who also serves as the narrator and is played by Ethan Gober, in the Sahara Desert.
While there, the duo bonds over the prince’s stories of traveling the galaxy and the different characters he met along the way. The Little Prince is a story that teaches one to appreciate the power of imagination and the importance at looking beneath the surface.
By performing The Little Prince, Rockmart is stepping outside the school’s history of competing with more dramatic plays.
The school’s previous One-Act results involved wins, losses, and close calls. In 2012, RHS won the state competition with “When You Comin’ Back Red Ryder” directed by Margaret Jacobs, RHS won first in region in 2013 with “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” directed by Jacobs, RHS won first in region in 2014 with a performance of “Suddenly Last Summer” directed by Jacobs, RHS took second at region in 2015 with “Proof” directed by James Schroeder, and the school took second at regions with their performance of “The Christians” directed by James Schroeder.
Unlike last year’s performance, Rockmart has implemented music and sound effects into The Little Prince. Hearing and seeing the Aviator’s plane sputter and fail to keep the man afloat makes the scene feel alive, and watching the prince chase his fox friend around to music gives the scene a much more lighthearted, pleasant feel.
“With more dramatic plays, often times you don’t really need music,” Gober said. “We happened to have music to accompany The Little Prince, and I think it really does make the play feel more alive.”
Another unique aspect of this year’s competition play is the versatile, interactive set. When thinking of set one imagines stationary objects on stage, but for objects like the Aviator’s plane, cast and crew alike became the plane by holding up the wings, tail, and other various parts.
During the play’s final sunset, cast members held up the decorative set pieces that made up the evening sky. When not in a role, cast and crew are clad in all black to reduce visibility as much as possible.
“This was different in a way,” Fox and Rose actress Alli Streetman said. “It’s not uncommon to have crew members holding set pieces, but we don’t usually have anyone become the set.”
Despite stepping out of their element, Rockmart isn’t phased by the competition.
“I don’t really know how we’ll do,” Gober said. “Our usual rivals are doing big musicals like Jekyll and Hyde — but better schools have done that show without winning. The problem is that you can’t trim it down to one act well. The Little Prince is shortened very well, and the story still holds up in the condensed version.”
Length is one of the competition requirements at One-Act. Performances have a 55 minute window to get on and off the stage- including set- before having points knocked off or being disqualified. Rockmart has been consistently nailing their target time, and the group’s performance from last year wrapped up with a few minutes to spare.
“We’ve been consistently getting it at around 55 minutes,” crew member Riley Miller said.
Rockmart’s ensemble is not to be overlooked and features actors such as Jackson Norris, Adrian Locklear, Katelyn Borders, Kole Kimbro, Kady Stonecypher, Chloe Green, Abby Fennell, Hanna Aiken, Sadie Jacobs, Makayla Smith, Payton Goodson, Isaac Gober, Branson Lewis, Anna Snider, Sierra Post, Rayanna Shaw, Mary Laltrello and Andrew Lumpkin.
Mattie Taylor and Hailee Brand are returning crew members and will be serving as the play’s stage managers.
The group will know if they’re advancing to the state level the same day they compete at the regional level. Should they advance to state, Rockmart will be competing against region winners across the entirety of Georgia.
Win or loss, Rockmart’s theatre department is sure to put everything they have into each performance of “The Little Prince.”
Rockmart High School presents
‘The Little Prince’
in One Act
CAST & CREW
Here’s who’s involved in this year’s competition:
James Schroeder — Co-Director
Stevi Reeves — Co-Director
Ethan Gober — Aviator
Rob Laltrello — The Little Prince
Alli Streetman — Rose/Fox
Isaac Gober — King
Branson Lewis — Conceited Man
Anna Snider — Business Man
Sierra Post — Geographer
Andrew Lumpkin — Snake
Rayanna Shaw — Lamplighter
Mary Laltrello — Sketch Artist