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Cedar Hill High School Theater Performance Wins UIL Awards

Sending Down the Sparrows  

 
For the first time in 10 years, the Cedar Hill High School Theater Arts Department advanced to area round in the Class 6A UIL One-Act Play theater competition.

During four rounds of competition, the production of Sending Down the Sparrows earned a total of 19 awards for the cast and crew. However, the accolades don’t outweigh the lessons students learned during the production of the World War II era play.


CHHS Cedar Hill High School Theater Arts Department Director Bethany Kennedy said she selected the play based on the lessons the subject matter provided. “I read through dozens of scripts this summer and chose this one based on how it would impact and educate students.”


The historical fiction piece shines a light on how the Nazis exterminated Germans with special needs. The main character Viktor (Jeffery Pope), a reluctant member of the Hitler Youth, struggles to hide his secret: his sister is mentally challenged.


On March 30, the cast held an encore performance at the CHISD Performing Arts Center. Holocaust survivors and those who work with people who have special needs were invited. After the performance playwright Laura Lundgren Smith participated in a question and answer session with the cast. She said the play helps high school students learn from characters that are their own age. “If I can get the kids to engage in history, then I’ve done my job,” Smith said.


Alexis Marie Garay played Alina, Viktor’s sister. “I was taken aback by what went on and what people don’t know,” she said. Another actress, Daphni Willians, said she has a brother who has autism. “When I read the script, I was upset. I didn’t know they (people with special needs) were gassed also.”


The play did not advance beyond the area round of the competition, but Kennedy said she expects students to continue their breakthrough success. “We have broken a 10-year record of never making it to area contest, and they are determined to go even further next year.”


Below is a list of all the awards the cast and crew earned during the UIL competition.


Zone

Shaina Jaramillo - Best Technician

Issaic Trammell - Honorable Mention All Star Actor

Jaurius Norman - Honorable Mention All Star Actor

Lionel Gonzalez - All Star Actor

Alexis Marie Garay - All Star Actor

Shaina Jaramillo - Best Technician

Jeffery Pope - Best Actor


District

Tonya Kirk - Best Technician

Amiyah Oney - Honorable Mention All-Star Cast

Lionel Gonzalez - All Star Cast

Alexis Marie Garay - All Star Cast

Jeffery Pope - Best Actor


Bi-District

Cast - Bi-District Champions

Shaina Jaramillo - Best Technician

Lionel Gonzalez - All Star Cast

Alexis Marie Garay - All Star Cast

Jeffery Pope - Best Actor


Area

Cast - Region Contest Alternate

Jacoya Perry - Best Technician

Amiyah Oney - Honorable Mention All-Star Cast

Alexis Marie Garay - Honorable Mention All-Star Cast

Jeffery Pope - All Star Cast








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