Westwood Horizon

‘This Random World’ Narrowly Misses Advancement in UIL Competition

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Isabella Barber '19 walks across stage in a hospital gown.

Isabella Barber '19 walks across stage in a hospital gown.

Isabella Barber '19 walks across stage in a hospital gown.

Lizzie Deal, A&E Editor

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After rehearsing for two months, the cast and crew of the one act play brought This Random World to life, which illustrated the unknown impacts we have on the lives of others. The play was performed three times by the cast — twice on March 20 for students and staff and once on March 21 for the UIL One Act Competition.

In order for an act to qualify for the competition, the performances had to be under 40 minutes. While there, students were given the opportunity to shine onstage and then were allowed to watch other performances until the awards ceremony.

“It’s really cool to watch other people’s shows and support each other,” Isabella Barber ‘19 said. “It was long and tiring, but very fun to meet other casts.”

The cast took fourth place at competition and narrowly missed advancing to the next round despite the hours they devoted almost every day after school to rehearse.

“This is the closest we’ve ever been to advancing,” Isabel Arcinue ‘18 said. “We took into consideration all of the critiques, all of the advice we had gotten in the past. We stayed under time, we kept the energy up, and we were the best characters we could be, the best actors we could be, and the best ensemble we could be. Putting in all this work, it was so difficult to hear that we didn’t move on, but we did get first alternate.”

Apart from placing fourth, the cast and crew also snagged three individual awards. Zoe Rowe ‘18 took All Star Crew, Dalton Clay ‘19 received Honorable Mention All Star Cast, and Barber won All Star Cast.

“I was not expecting it,” Barber said. “It was crazy because there were like a hundred other people. I felt very honored and I was very excited. It honestly kind of helps my self confidence and continuing on with what I’m doing.”

To prepare for the competition, the students collected feedback from the two performances they put on at the beginning of the school day on March 20. Those performances were vital to the success of the play at competition as it allowed people who had never seen the show to provide their critiques from which the students could improve.

“Getting the opportunity to perform for other people is good practice and it also exposes more theater to the world outside of our department,” Arcinue said. “Everytime we do put on a show for the school, our teachers record feedback from their classes, and sometimes other people who are visiting or got out of class to see the show. We always take that into account. That’s why we have our shows before competition; to see what other people think since we rehearse it over and over again.”

Despite not advancing, the students walked away from the competition with their heads high, knowing that they had given their all to making the show the best that it could be.

“It’s bittersweet because I think that our performance that we did at competition was by far our best performance,” Amanda Manion ‘18 said. “It was phenomenal. That in itself was rewarding. Being able to feel like we had done our best was awesome.”

The biggest thing that allowed the play to flourish was how closely knit the students involved became. The familiarity between cast members allowed the chemistry between characters to flourish.

“It’s very ensemble-based, so working with everybody and knowing we all had equal roles brought us together,” Arcinue said. “When you expose yourself to this kind of experience, you tend to make friends along the way.”

Aside from rehearsals, the cast also prepped for shows together with group warm-ups to help get into character and calm their nerves. Before going on stage, students could often be found doing mental preparation in the wings by thinking about their character and thinking about their experiences to further put themselves in their character’s shoes.

“We have a ritual that we always do,” Manion said. “It’s kind of a good show warm-up. You just sit there and think about your emotions. Another thing we do is we circle up and we hold each others hands and cross over, and we just breathe together. It helps us unite as a cast.”

This Random World will be put on once more for a farewell performance in the cafeteria on March 27 at 6:30 p.m.. The play is appropriate for all ages and the event will be free for all those who wish to attend.

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