One year after coming home from the Kentucky Theatre Association’s Fall Conference as the state’s Best Newcomer, the students from Corbin High School’s Drama class returned to class Monday as state champions.
The students led by Theatre Director Schann Mobley performed their rendition of "Paul’s Case," a one-act play that centers around a high school student in Pittsburgh who steals $1,000 and travels to New York City where he spends the next few days experiencing the life of a rich person. When Paul learns that his father has repaid the money and is coming to New York to get him, he decides he can’t return to his dull, middle class life and kills himself by jumping in front of a train.
Mobley said the play was a perfect fit because it could be done within the 45-minute timeframe in which the students had to set up, perform the play and clear the stage for the next group. In addition, Mobley said it allowed Corbin to stand out because it was a drama that showcased her students’ talents.
When they walked off stage, the cast and crew, led by seniors Evan Baylor, Martin Jones, Dakota Dean and Katie Noble, admitted they were less than pleased with their performance, explaining that they didn’t think they did well enough to even place. However, the judges saw things differently.
"A near perfectly realized production," one judge wrote
"I was transported. Thank you," another judge stated
"It was the one cast that I truly saw character development over the course of the show," a third judge wrote.
Along with the high praise, the judges provided high scores for Corbin, as they received superior marks in all categories and the four seniors received four of the highest individual awards. Baylor was named best actor. Jones received the award for best supporting actor and Dean was chosen as best supporting actress, while Noble was named to the all-star cast.
"You all never cease to amaze me," said Corbin Principal John Faulconer. "It’s just too cool."
Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney offered his congratulations Tuesday as he signed a proclamation declaring the week of Nov. 14-18 as Corbin High School Theatre Week in Corbin.
Mobley was quick to praise her students for the program’s success.
"They deserve it all, and I am so thankful that they are in my life and I get to share my love of theatre with them," Mobley said when announcing the news on her Facebook page.
The four seniors put the credit back on Mobley and members of the crew such as Lyndsie Johnson, a freshman who was responsible for the lighting.
Johnson said the trip to state went from exciting to terrifying in a matter of a few seconds.
"I had 15 minutes to look at a lighting board that was completely different than the one I’m used to working on and get it ready for our show," Johnson explained, adding that the play called for 51 changes in lighting to help set the mood for the play.
"I have learned so much," Johnson said, adding that she wants to be up on stage next year.
The crew will be taking the show on the road to Chattanooga, Tenn. for the national competition.
In addition to preparing for Chattanooga, the students are working on the upcoming performance of "Madeline’s Christmas Musical. The curtain will go up Dec. 15 at the Betty Hamilton Center for the Performing Arts at Corbin High School.