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Starkville High School is once again preparing to showcase its many talents as the theatre department readies its latest Drama Festival show, â€śThe Insanity of Mary Girard.â€ť
A public performance is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Starkville High School auditorium. Tickets are $5.
First-year drama teacher Jessica Taylor said preparation for the show began in the summer.
â€śIâ€™ve been looking at scripts since July,â€ť she said. â€śI was drawn to the difficulty of pulling off the production as well as the visual it could create.â€ť
The play, written by Lanie Roberston, dramatizes the real-life events surround the life and eventual institutionalization of a Philadelphia, Pa. woman, Mary Lum Girard.
â€śThe play is about a woman who has been committed to an insane asylum by her husband,â€ť Taylor said. â€śShe has demons surrounding her that make her face the people from her past.â€ť
Taylor said working with the young actors has been a collaborative experience.
â€śThey have been great, and everyone shows up prepared, offering great suggestions that help advance the show,â€ť she said. â€śThey have made a lot of decisions and, together, weâ€™ve created these wonderful characters.â€ť
Taylor said her first year at SHS has been overwhelmingly positive.
â€śItâ€™s been fantastic being able to work on a subject that I enjoy in all of its aspects,â€ť she said. â€śAll of the students are very professional and easy to work with.â€ť
Beginning Friday at McComas Hall on the Mississippi State University Campus, SHS will join 16 other high schools from the North half of the state in a two day theatrical competition in hopes of advancing to the Mississippi Theatre Association festival in January.
Taylor said each school is given a 10-foot-by-10-foot area to store its set, and only one hour to complete the show and judging.
â€śIn 45 minutes, we have to build the set, perform they play and take everything down without going over time,â€ť she said. â€śTrying to cut the show down enough to fit within the time constraints has been the hardest part.â€ť
Although SHS has an impressive record concerning festival competitions, Taylor said she was not intimidated by her predecessorsâ€™ success and enjoyed the creative process she shared with her actors.
â€śIâ€™ve been to competition myself and getting to compete on a different age level is really exciting,â€ť she said. â€śItâ€™s been great coming up with ideas on my own and getting to try them out.â€ť
Taylor said she gathered the perfect cast and crew for this production and had high expectations from her students.
â€śTheyâ€™ve really taken it and run with it,â€ť she said. â€śThey are ready for an audience because they really shine when they have someone in the audience to play to.â€ť