Making Their Way Through the Dark!

OAP Wins District Championship


Marlana Tanaro

(Left to right): Director Cassi Furr, senior Oscar Flores, sophomore Nehemiah Castillo, junior Lynssey Mahler, freshman Lexi Anchondo, sophomore Braileigh Goe, senior Gabi Garcia, freshman Khloe Marez, freshman Lizzy Garcia, junior Emma Samaron, freshman Kyleigh Kennedy, and junior Emma Stevenson. Not pictured senior Alex Alvarez, freshman Hannah Alvarez, junior Xavyer Mosqueda, freshman Luis Fuentes, freshman Aabriella Villanueva, and senior Annabelle Anchondo.

“They showed you that dark road, and you went down it willingly. Evil isn’t something that swallows you up. It’s a choice you make, every day,” Daimler from Laura Smith’s drama Dark Road said.

The dark road filled with evil lives within the moments of the past that would rather be forgotten, especially during World War II when the Nazis claimed the lives of Jews, their families, and anyone who tried to condemn Hitler for his actions. This fact lies within the characters and story of Dark Road, the play selected by one act director Cassi Furr.

After attending several festivals including ones in Wellington, Midland, and Lubbock, the crew and actors within One Act have been working endlessly to learn new ways to make their acting better and tell a dark and twisted story, one that lives inside the viewers’ minds as the play is performed.

Last Thursday, their hard work finally paid off. Competing against Kress and Happy, the Springlake-Earth One Act Play company placed first, becoming district champions and advancing to bi-district with a win under their belts. In addition to the district championship, senior Gabi Garcia was awarded for Best Lights, juniors Xavyer Mosqueda and Emma Stevenson along with freshman Lizzy Garcia received Honorable Mention All Star Cast, junior Lynnsey Mahler and senior Oscar Flores made All-Star Cast, and freshman Aabriella Villanueva was awarded one of the two Best Performer awards, the highest acting honor at the district level.

Taking home as many individual awards as they did as well as placing first came as a surprise to many, including sophomore actor Braileigh Goe.

“I honestly didn’t think we were going to place first. The play is a little dark, and I wasn’t sure how the judges would like it,” Goe said.

However, the judge, Joy Morton, was impressed and thought the performance was good as a whole, giving critiques where necessary. Despite the long hours practicing and preparing for their district performance, the actors know that the rehearsals are what helped them to get their first-place title.

“Every practice definitely helped, even when we’re running specific scenes without lights and sound,” Garcia said. “We worked on set pieces and individual characters which helped a ton.”

Everyone in OAP has put in hours of hard work individually as well as in a group. In fact, this year marks many actors’ first time participating in theatre, making their success and awards even greater. Villanueva was one of those new members, and many were impressed by her accomplishment.

“Aabriella has impressed me. I didn’t know she could act the way she does, and she’s good at it,” senior actor Alex Alvarez said. “That’s why she got best performer.”

For Villanueva, hearing she received Best Performer came as a surprising delight.

“Me being a freshman and new to theatre, I didn’t expect much, and I didn’t expect to receive an award. I was super excited. Now, I can say I’m as comp as Xavyer,” Villanueva said.

Others who received awards were also very proud of themselves and the ones around them who made their performance and the show possible.

All of the OAP actors and crew who received an award at district. (Cassi Furr)

“Imma be HIM for life; it’s God-given. First, I snatch the streets; then, I snatch their hearts. Actors came and went; I’ve been here from the start,” Mosqueda said. “We have a good cast, and that’s why we got so many awards. At bi-district, I’m looking forward to the wings.”

Despite the first place title that the One Act troupe received, everyone is aware that there is still work to be done and more dedication needed to put on the best performance they can at bi-district. From now until they perform on Monday, March 2oth, in Hereford, the actors, crew, and directors are focusing on the areas that need the most work.

“I think we performed well, but we still have a lot of things to work on,” Alvarez said. “The biggest thing for us is to not rush our lines and truly act like we are in the 1940’s.”

Working on these particular areas will help the OAP to advance further than bi-district; however, doing the best they can manage is all Furr is looking for from the actors and crew members.

“Any time we go to contest, I want them to advance, but I want them to do their best. Overall, I’m proud of them,” Furr said.

Besides memorizing lines and performing to their best, the One Act company has become so much more than actors; they are a family, a family that the four seniors are soon going to miss. However, they are looking to make it far their last year and put on a bi-district show that the entire Springlake-Earth community can be proud of.

“I’m sad it’s my last year of theatre. I’ll miss a lot of people from class, but I’m also excited to make it an awesome last year. I hope we go far!” Garcia said.