Briarwood Academy captured first place in GISA Region 1AA one-act play competition and two Best Actor awards with a cast of 30 students performing the classic American drama, Spoon River Anthology, at Augusta State University in Augusta last week.
The students will compete for the state AA title at Middle Georgia College in Cochran on Wednesday, November 16.
Briarwood Academy students gave a practice performance of their GISA Region1AA championship one-act play, Spoon River Anthology, to their classmates last week at Briarwood. Students in the scene include (from left) Ethan DeMore, Carl Chapman, Whitney McTier, Joy Dudley, Angela Kirkland, Seth Williford, Ivey Thrift, Jessica House and Davis Griffin.
Best Actor awards were presented to senior Joseph Baldwin and junior Davis Griffin.
"They said we had numerous candidates for Best Actor and Best Actress awards because we had so many who were outstanding," said director Jeanie Joesbury. "As it was, we got two of the five.
"What I was most proud of as a teacher was that so many of them did so well," she continued. "It's hard to do a one-act with 30 people. They did a wonderful job, and that is the truth.‚"
Even with 30 cast members, many of the students perform several roles. Baldwin portrayed an artist, a student and the narrator, while Griffin portrayed a gambler, an attorney and a soldier.
Written by Edgar Lee Masters in the early 1900's, the dead in the graveyard in the fictional town of Spoon River, Ill., relate to the audience the details of their lives. The anthology is a true picture of American culture at the turn-of-the-century, according to Mrs. Joesbury, who said that many of the characters and their experiences are based on the lives of former residents of two Illinois communities in which Masters lived as a child.
"It's a piece which is high in literary merit,‚" Mrs. Joesbury said. "It's a classic American drama.‚"
Eight years ago, Spoon River Anthology earned Briarwood a region one-act title and Mrs. Joesbury her first one-act title as a director.
This production is much better, according to Mrs. Joesbury, who said that the addition of folk dancing by some characters and banjo and guitar accompaniment by Seth Williford and Ethan DeMore give added dimension to the production.
Cast members in the production include Baldwin, Griffin, Williford, DeMore, Samantha Arthur, Carl Chapman, Jennifer Douglas, Joy Dudley, Jason Dunham, Ali Dyson, Davis Griffin, Jessica House, Dave Joesbury, Andrew Johnson, Angela Kirkland, Olivia Lyons, Hughlon Mays, Whitney McTier, Jennifer Morey, Heather Neal, Courtney Price, Tabatha Raburn, Brittany Ray, Matthew Rivers, Amanda Rutkowski, John Spivey, Blake Stitcher, Morgan Stuckey, Ivey Thrift, Brooke Wiley, Seth Williford and Chase Wilson.