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OAP’s Caucasian Chalk Circle prepares for UIL

Theatre+students+perform+a+part+of+the+Caucasian+Chalk+Circle.
Theatre students perform a part of the Caucasian Chalk Circle.

Theatre students perform a part of the Caucasian Chalk Circle.

-photo by caroline duke, photo editor

-photo by caroline duke, photo editor

Theatre students perform a part of the Caucasian Chalk Circle.

LeopardLife Jack Marsden and Katya Wise, Etcetera Editor and Staff Writer

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The final set pieces are arranged into their proper places. Students briskly stride to the side of the stage. The lights go out. The announcer calls out the name of the play, and it begins.

The UIL One-Act Play contest is the largest school play production competition in the world, and over 14,000 schools participate in it throughout the state of Texas. Students have to memorize many lines, more than any other play, within a relatively short time. Taking place near the end of February, over the course of three days, this competition’s rules can be specific and strict, and one misstep can lead to a team’s disqualification.

This year, the WSMS OAP theatre class will be putting on the play “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”. According to Ms. DiPasquale, the WSMS Theatre teacher, it is a play that is tough to learn, and requires high-level thinking from those involved.

“We chose this show because we felt like it was a show that would let us reach our full potential,” said seventh grader, Peyton Nicholson.

In the OAP competition, groups of theatre students, each from different school districts, present an 18-40 minute play, putting on their best performance in front of judges. They receive a LEGO set that they are allowed to configure to their advantage. To perform the scene the way they want, they must use what they have creatively designed to showcase their scene. Students have been working on their plays for three months, and they are adding their finishing touches.

“We read many, many, plays until we got to the right one. We had auditions after Thanksgiving.  We practice in class every day, and then after school three days a week, until competition, which is Feb 25 in Grapevine TX, we will compete against four schools,” said DiPasquale.

“The Caucasian Chalk Circle” tells the story of a young woman in 14th century Azerbaijan, a European country. She adopts a child, the son of the governor, whose death has sent the village of Nuka into chaos. After many hardships and struggles, she eventually wins custody of the child in a test of altruism.

“Choosing a play is hard, we usually go through ten or more plays before we can even decide on a certain play. This group picked the show that I have been wanting to do for ten years now, but I haven’t had the perfect group,” said DiPasquale.

There will also be three performances of the play here at WSMS on February 16, 18, and the 23.

“I am excited to perform, and I think that we have been doing very well,” said seventh-grade advanced theatre student, Ethan Jones. “We have been working as hard as possible, and I think that our performance will be one to remember.”

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OAP’s Caucasian Chalk Circle prepares for UIL