The Jackson High School Drama Department recently offered Butts County residents a free evening of laughter and entertainment, during a performance of short plays and sketches dubbed, "That Drama Thing," at the Rufus Adams Auditorium.
"The program was born out of a class project to get more kids on stage," said Jackson High School Drama and Vocal Music Teacher Stephen Crocker. "The plays ranged from simple to complex. They were a teaching tool that made the kids stretch."
Some of the roles centered on involved dialogue while some of the skits involved timing and interaction between the actors that was essential to the performance. The characters included a well-meaning but out-of-touch grandmother and a backwoods bride.
Students also got experience working behind the scenes of a stage production.
Wes Reavis was responsible for sound and lights, J.T. Reeves headed the stage crew, and Savannah Ballew served as the host to tie the vignettes together.
One short play, "Troubles of an Editor," was performed in each of Crocker's three drama classes, and he chose the actors for each part for the stage production. Crocker explained that some of the actors in "That Drama Thing" had appeared in every Jackson High drama production since drama was incorporated into the curriculum last year, while it was the first time on stage for some of the other actors.
"I got out there and the fear went away," said Tiffany Martin, who played Mrs. Spud in "Troubles of an Editor." "It all came to me. I loved it."
The "Baggage Handler" was the most serious piece in the assortment of skits. It provided some interesting discussion in the classroom after it was introduced, according to Crocker. Brandon Davis played the part of Man while Alicia Duke played Woman and Amber Swain had the part of the baggage handler in the thought-provoking skit about relationships and reincarnation.
"I liked the part. It was different from the comical cop I played in ‘Guys and Dolls,'" said Davis. "I plan to minor in drama in college."
Other actors who performed included Haley Brannan, Alexis Giddens, Kathryn Berry, Isaac Redman, Torian Holloman, Viv Spejcher, Bek Collins, Holly Hollis, Erin Allen, Skylar Hoover, Maja Spejcher, Aja Cooke, Kassidy Newton, Kaila Jenkins, Alex Ortiz, Brooke Holloway, Luke Akin, Dixie Jones, Morgan Phillips, Bethany Lynch, Daniel Martin, Lindsay Collins, J.D. Dummer, Justin Munson, Megan Born, Kristin Redman, Melissa Gillespie, Steven Higginbotham, Bridget Cornman, Jay Glidewell, Zenetta Watts, and Amelia Duke.
"Next year I am planning some more well-known productions," said Crocker. "I plan to do a children's play and another musical [since ‘Guys and Dolls' was successful]. But I will choose the plays according to the students I have in class."