BIG HORN — After returning from the Wyoming State Thespian Festival in Laramie last week with several awards, the Big Horn High School drama club will perform a showcase of its competition pieces for the public at 7 p.m. Tuesday at BHHS.
In its second year attending the state competition, the BHHS team placed third overall at the event, with three students earning All-State honors as well as four honorable mentions.
Twelve of the students in the club performed a one-act play called “LockDown,” which earned seventh place at the event.
This is also the second year the school has had a club, which grew from five members last year to 19 this year.
Senior drama club president Rowan Kelly earned first place in solo monologue and qualified for the national competition.
Kelly has done the play the past three years, but it was her first time competing in solo monologue. It’s also her third year doing speech and debate.
For the comedic portion, Kelly did a monologue from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and her dramatic piece was “Shadows of My Mind” by Joseph Arnone.
“This lady is talking to her aunt about all these feelings that she has,” Kelly described the piece. “She has depression and she doesn’t know what to do.”
Senior Sheridan Blackburn took first place in fantasy makeup and senior Casey Prior earned first place in theater marketing, each earning All-State honors. Dalton Nelson, Bryce Lydic, Kaitlyn Schultz and Chloe Veinbergs earned honorable mentions.
Junior Dalton Nelson took part in the drama club for the second year, competing in musical duo and acting in “LockDown.”
“This was the first year I’d actually done anything with singing like choir — it was definitely a little nerve-wracking,” Nelson said. “But you progress in practice. You start out at nothing and you just keep going. It was a lot of fun.”
The team began preparing for the competition in late September, often practicing before school since many of the students are also involved in sports and other activities.
“LockDown” is an approximately 25-minute play in one act that takes place entirely in a single classroom on lockdown during an emergency and ends with the opening of a door, leaving the conclusion of the story and the fate of the students unresolved.
“That’s what it is. It just takes place in a classroom, with a teacher leaving them alone eventually, and how do they deal with the pressures of, ‘Am I going to die?’” Olsen said. “In the end, you don’t know what’s going to happen; there is no ending.”
Big Horn High School Music Teacher Dustin Olsen, who leads the drama club, said he selected the play for the state competition since the club typically performs comedies in the community.
Olsen said the play went over well at the competition, with one of the judges particularly rattled by it.
“That’s what it’s supposed to do. It’s supposed to make people think,” Olsen said.