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A performance to remember

By Dena Walden

Last year was a momentous year for Emanuel County Institute as the once, beloved One Act Play program was resurrected. Head coach and director, Dena Walden, was able to lead a cast and crew to a third place finish in region competition and also have one actor selected as part of the All Star Cast.

This year brought even bigger and better things as Walden, along with assistant coach, Molly Thomas, organized and directed the group’s performance of “Flowers for Algernon”. Walden says, “This cast and crew are some of the most resilient kids I have ever seen. They were faced with devastation and adversity in the weeks leading up to their competition, but they pushed through. I admire that tenacity, and I couldn’t be prouder of their performance.”

As most in the community knows, ECI suffered the traumatic loss of two students only within a couple of weeks of one another. Those within the One Act Play group were very close to one or both of them, and it was questionable whether or not competition would be a reality.

Upon the insistence of one senior actor in particular, the group decided they would forge ahead and compete their hearts out. They did just that. Region 3-A Division 2 competition was held at McIntosh County Academy this past weekend. Due to the splitting of this region, familiar schools like Metter and Claxton were no longer a part of the competition.

At the end of the day, ECI walked away as runner up in the competition, but even more special was the fact that senior Will Taylor was selected as Best Actor for the Region, and Jayden Henry was chosen as an All Star Cast Member.

Cast members include: (from 9th-12th grades) Jayden Henry, Jacorra Turner, Emmi Lai Tyam, Braxton Jones, and Will Taylor. Crew members include: (from 9th-12th grades) Lillie Hammond, Parker Frederick, Maggie Hattaway, Will Sasser, Mackenzie Davis and Cola Akridge.

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