Special to the Item
The Picayune Item
Picayune Memorial High School’s High Tide Productions recently competed at the Mississippi Theatre Association’s South Regional Drama Festival at William Carey University.
The troupe, under the direction of William Rester swept the show, winning seven of the event’s thirteen major awards. In addition to this, two students were singled out for their performances as members of the Festival’s All-Star Cast.
The troupe presented their fall production, “Elephant’s Graveyard,” by George Brant, at the competition. This play tells the true story of Mary, an elephant in the Sparks World Famous Shows Circus, who meets her demise at the hands of the townspeople of Erwin, Tenn. in 1916. Mary, normally a docile pachyderm, is provoked by her handler, and accidently kills him. The residents of Erwin, traumatized by the event, seek justice for Mary’s actions, and Ringmaster Charles Sparks must decide her fate.
A combination of fact and legend, “Elephant’s Graveyard” has been described as a “theatrical masterp+iece,” and “deeply moving.”At “Dramafest,” High Tide’s performance earned the Distinguished Play Award, which allows them to move on to the state competition in January.
HTP was also awarded Best Scenic Design, Best Ensemble Acting, Peer Choice Award, the Glenn R. Menna Overall Theatrical Experience Award, Outstanding Direction, and Taylor Abbott received the award for Best Actor, for his portrayal of the Ringmaster. Jeremiah Quiroz and Jackson Ledford were named to the All-Star Cast for their depictions of Mary’s Trainer, Shorty, and the Preacher, respectively.
The panel of respondents for the event, tasked with critiquing the shows mistakes, was left nearly speechless.High Tide will perform “Elephant’s Graveyard” one more time before they travel to up to Columbus to compete against eight other high schools for the State Title.
You can join the cast at the PMHS Gym on January 11th, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. The event will be a dinner theatre, catered by Stonewall’s. Guests will be served by the cast members in both costume and in character. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from William Rester by calling the school directly at 798-1380, or emailing him at email@example.com.