WARSAW —Students in the Warsaw Community High School theatre department will perform together at a state conference at Franklin Central High School in Indianapolis on Saturday, Jan. 25.
In 2019, the theatre department placed second at a regional competition and went to state. This year, students placed first at regionals on Dec. 7 at Maconaquah High School with their performance of “Dark Road,” a one-act drama written by Laura Lundgren Smith. The story takes place at the end of World War II in Germany. A female Nazi guard is arrested and tried for war crimes and she talks with a reporter about what led her to make the choices she did. The female soldier takes the job to help provide for her younger sister, who eventually turns her in for her crimes.
“It focuses on this idea that all of us have this potential inside us and we have to guard it,” said Dana McAfee, Warsaw Community High School drama teacher. “We have to make sure that we don’t become the bully and that we don’t let this desire of power take over. The students have done such a beautiful job with it.”
Students began preparing for their performance of “Dark Road” in October 2019. In their performance, students have a total of 45 minutes to set up their scenery, perform the production and then take down all the props and background items they brought with them onstage.
“They take direction beautifully and they want to do well, they really do,” said McAfee. “This is such a serious, grown-up theme and they do it so believably. I’m so proud of them and this is a really beautiful show that they’ve put together.’
A total of 25 students from the theatre department are attending the conference, with 10 students performing in the “Dark Road” production. Josh Fisher, Anna Bowald, Alyssa Pena, Abby Seese, Deanna Folsom, Cayla Harris, Eleanor Williamson, Danie Miner, Reagan Polk and Jordan Norris are the students who portray characters in the play.
“Students can even go (to state) just to watch if they’re not competing,” said McAfee. “So I always take a group of students to state no matter what and I always have students doing individual competitions.”
At the state conference, students will not only be competing individually and in groups; they will also have the opportunity to attend workshops.
“Seeing the reaction of other people watching them perform is so fun,” said McAfee. “When we performed at regionals, it was silent in a room of high school kids and you know you’re doing a good job with a drama when it’s silent like that.”