Mississippi State raises curtain for area student actors

Contact: Sammy McDavid

Seven student thespian groups gather next week for Mississippi State University's 34th annual North Mississippi High School Drama Festival.

Sponsored on campus for the 30th year by the communication department, the productions will be staged in the McComas Hall theater during the afternoon and evening of Oct. 23. Three of the groups will be selected to advance to state competition.

Interested members of the general public are invited to attend any or all performances.

Schools represented include Corinth High School, Grenada High School, Jackson Preparatory School, Kosciusko High School, Lafayette High School, Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, and Starkville High School. Nettleton High School students and teacher Sharon Braswell will attend as observers.

In addition to dramatic skills, students must bring to the performances their own furniture, stage and hand props, costumes, and other accessories. Each group is given a maximum of 60 minutes for set-up, performance, set strike, and critique.

The rigorous schedule is required under Southeastern Theater Conference rules observed by the Mississippi Theater Association.

Judges will present a certificate to each group rating the performance as superior, excellent, good, or honorable mention. In addition to naming an all-star cast, they also may give awards for outstanding direction, overall merit and technical achievement.

North Mississippi festival performances include:

--1 p.m., Lafayette County High School, "The Actor's Nightmare," Leah Shollenberger, director.

--2 p.m., Corinth High School, "Of Poems, Youth and Spring," Myra Byrnes, director.

--3 p.m., Starkville High School, "Dracula the Musical," Paula Mabry, director.

--4 p.m., Grenada High School, Nancy Clark, director (performance information not available).

--5 p.m., two-hour dinner break.

--7 p.m., Jackson Preparatory School, Francine Thomas, director (performance information not available).

--8 p.m., Kosciusko High School, Martha Morgan, director (performance information not available).

--9 p.m., Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, "Lily Daw and the Three Ladies," Claudia Carter, director.

The awards ceremony will be held approximately one hour after the conclusion of the final critique.

For additional information, telephone festival coordinator Jo Durst at (601) 325-3320.

Tue, 10/13/1998 - 05:00