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A South Pacific state of mind

It's been a busy two weeks for fine arts at Briarwood Academy, but after winning the Region 1AA Literary competition and placing second in the state, students still found the time to practice for the upcoming play South Pacific scheduled March 25 and 26.

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Wendi Wilson (from left) Alli Wood and Kelley Wills perform during Monday night's dress rehearsal.

"It's going to be a great production," said Director Jeanie Joesbury who has been working with students on the play since January.

"We are all enjoying so much the island flair. We've probably got 100 grass skirts and leis. The crowd should really enjoy that."

South Pacific is a collaborative effort in the school with former school personnel pitching in to help. More than 80 students are participating, with the middle school chorus making up the crowd and dance scenes. Senior humanities students built the set, and the choreographer is junior Matthew Rivers. Former Briarwood teacher Brent Odom will play the piano, former student Kyle Wester is assisting with lights and sound, and students are doing an excellent job serving as stage managers, Mrs. Joesbury said. Other volunteers include Lyn Neal and Hilda Arthur who assist back stage.

The play, based on the James Michener novel and set during WWII, tells stories of love and prejudice. Mrs. Joesbury said she chose the play because the wide range of songs would showcase the extensive talent of the students.

Leading roles will be played by two seasoned performers who recently won awards for solos at both the regional and state level of literary competition -- Wendi Wilson and Joseph Baldwin.

Wendi, who has been cast in lead roles in past Briarwood productions, plays Nellie Forbush, a Navy nurse.

Wendi's voice is perfect for the part, and she will sing such popular numbers as "Some Enchanted Evening, I'm Going to Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair" and "Bali Hai," Mrs. Joesbury said.

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Joseph Baldwin sings to Wendi Wilson.

"We also have fantastic male leads in the play," she added.

Joseph Baldwin does a convincing job as Emile de Becque, the French planter who falls in love with the nurse.

In addition, Jeffery Kent does a great job in the element of comic relief as Luther Billis while Davis Griffin's beautiful voice will be highlighted in his role as Lt. Joseph Cable, she said.

Anna Harden will play Bloody Mary, a trader, Kelley Wills is cast as Ensign Janet MacGregor and Alli Woods is Ensign Dinah Murphy.

Tickets to the production, scheduled for 7 p.m. March 25 and 26 at the school are $8 in advance and $9 at the door.



Web posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005











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