Mayo High School Stage Door program advances to state competition, making school history |

Mayo High School Stage Door program advances to state competition, making school history

Created: February 14, 2021 06:45 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The pandemic has been tough on students managing distance learning and dealing with mental and emotional stresses.

But these challenges did not stop some Mayo High School students from breaking barriers at their school.

From February 8 to13, Stage Door, the theater group at Mayo High School, took part in a virtual statewide one-act play competition.

It was their first time.

"I think this was a nice new change of pace in our lives from the past year because not much has happened for any of us,” said Alyssa Keller, who is one of the Mayo High School seniors who participated in the virtual play. 

The students acted in their rooms over Zoom and put together a 35-minute one act play. 

"I'm so happy that we got the opportunity to do this because we didn't even think that we'd be doing any theater this year. We were all pretty miserable and sad and disappointed and everything,” said Darien Hilmerson, a Mayo High School senior. 

The play is called “Gossip: Virtual Edition.”

It's about a girl named Gossip who embodies what high school can be about: Gossip. She becomes friends with other students to rip their friendships apart. 

The students who played these roles enjoyed the challenge of acting in a virtual setting, "The playright really captured that whole spirit of the show really well in 35 minutes and I think we did a really good job performing it and showing the rest of the world this is what high school is like, even though it's virtual,” said Will Laudon, a Mayo High School sophomore.

Their hard work paid off. They competed in a local competition, won, and then advanced to state, "They've had this goal in mind all throughout last season, then when we hit it this season in a strange year, I think it gave them that validation that even doing theatre this way, they have the chops to hang with the best of them,” shared Kim Hill, program director of Mayo High School's Stage Door.

For the first time in Mayo High School's history, Stage Door competed in a statewide one-act event.

And accomplishing this feat through Zoom came with many challenges, "We didn't get a live audience. Most of the time, we didn't get one at all and we didn't get that same energy. When we're recording on Zoom, we're doing it over and over again rather than just having one performance where if you mess up, it's whatever,” Keller said.

But for Kim, the biggest reward comes from the camaraderie and support that these students are giving each other, "They don't have to feel so alone anymore. They can have each other again and I think they found that which was really nice,” Hill said. 

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