Marble Falls Theater Arts Students perform a one-act play


The Marble Falls High School Theater Troupe presents its production of “The Storm in the Barn” at the UIL State 5A One-Act Play Competition on Wednesday, April 24 at the Round Rock ISD Performing Arts Center, 5800 McNeil Drive to Austin. The students went through four laps to earn a spot in the state event, a first for the school. Courtesy picture


Two out of three isn’t bad. In fact, for Theater Arts students at Marble Falls High School, two out of three is enough to make history.

At the Region III One-Act Play Competition at San Jacinto College on April 12, the Marble Falls cast received not-so-high marks from the acting judge for their performance of “The Storm in the Barn.”

“I didn’t expect to move on,” said Jon Clark, theater arts teacher and director. “I thought we were done. I thought it was over.”

However, the other two judges on the panel had different opinions.

When authorities announced the two high schools moving into the state, Marble Falls was one of them.

This is the first time the Marble Falls one-act theater troupe, which has qualified for regionals three years in a row, has qualified for the state competition.

“It’s crazy,” said Mary Fournier, the assistant director.

[box type=”info”]ENCOURAGE THEM The community is invited to send the Marble Falls High School One-Act Play Troupe to the state competition on Tuesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. in the high school parking lot, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls.[/box] The Class 5A Interscholastic League One-Act Play Competition will take place on Wednesday, April 24 at the Round Rock ISD Performing Arts Center, 5800 McNeil Drive in Austin.

Marble Falls takes the stage at 4:50 p.m. in the first session, which begins at 4 p.m. The competition features the top eight 5A theater troupes from all over Texas.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students per session and are only available at the door. They will go on sale at 2:30 p.m. Only cash or school checks payable to UIL/UT-Austin will be accepted.

Marble Falls fans should arrive by 3:15 p.m. to ensure they get tickets and seats.

‘The Storm in the Barn’ tells the story of a Dust Bowl-era boy struggling with all the problems of small-town life struggling with a drought as well as the spread of an ‘obscure disease’ and from a specter he can’t tell is real or not.

Selecting the part was difficult for Clark, who struggled with the decision and had long conversations with the other directors. Fournier said they even broke down potential games on spreadsheets to compare each and determine the best fit.

Although “The Storm in the Barn” was the right length for a one-act play, it still needed work

“You have to find the meat of the story and build the story around that,” Fournier said.

Once they had worked out the story, it was time to put it together with the students.

UIL limits the number of hours for rehearsals, but offstage, students review footage of their performances, review reviews from judges, and continue to find ways to improve.

Clark said all of the high school troupes that have advanced across the state share one thing.

“You can choose a great play, have great directors and everything,” he said. “The most important thing, though, is that they got there through all the hard work.”

There is no room for complacency after receiving high marks for a performance. Students and teachers know that another group of judges might not be so generous. One-act notation is subjective, after all.

“We’re trying to take all of that guesswork and uncertainty out of the equation,” Clark said.

Even though Marble Falls has gone through four rounds to get to the state contest, Clark and Fournier believe the cast and crew haven’t put on their best performance yet.

“I’m thrilled the kids are having their best performance ever,” Clark said. “I think if the kids have their best show, then it doesn’t matter what the judges score.”

Fournier accepted.

“What all directors want is for their children to do their best,” she said. “If they do, it doesn’t matter how we finish because they’re doing their best.”

For high school principals, bringing a one-act troupe to the state is a major milestone. For Fournier and Clark, it’s even more special because they both graduated from Marble Falls High School.

After the one-act play competition, Marble Falls isn’t over. Students Charlie McLean and Hailey McCarty will compete Friday, April 26 in the State’s Theater Design Competition. McLean is in the marketing category, while McCarty is in the hair and makeup category.


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