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Competition one act brings home awards with “Look Me in the Eye”

"Look Me in the Eye" won many awards at the Henry County competition one-act.

Nicci+Farland+%28Rea%29+and+Lucas+Keener+%28Vio%29+argue+during+the+confrontation.+Rea+just+revealed+that+her+brother+was+one+of+the+criminals+being+executed.
Nicci Farland (Rea) and Lucas Keener (Vio) argue during the confrontation. Rea just revealed that her brother was one of the criminals being executed.

Nicci Farland (Rea) and Lucas Keener (Vio) argue during the confrontation. Rea just revealed that her brother was one of the criminals being executed.

Kayley Boan

Kayley Boan

Nicci Farland (Rea) and Lucas Keener (Vio) argue during the confrontation. Rea just revealed that her brother was one of the criminals being executed.

Kayley Boan, Literary Magazine Editor

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Mackenzie Kelley, senior, wins All-Star Cast Member. She played Officer Flint who watched over the observation.

Mackenzie Kelley and Zac Aaron posing with their awards. Both actors really enjoyed their time in the cast.

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Zac Aaron, sophomore, runs to the stage to accept Best Male Actor. Aaron was the only sophomore playing a lead.

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The cast of “Look Me in the Eye” wins Best Costumes. Each character dressed to resemble their personalities and the soldiers wore matching uniforms.

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Chris Moore (Officer Ash) takes Rea’s box away after she is dragged off the stage. Each character was known by their barcodes.

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Nicci Farland (Rea) is dragged off the observation by Noen Eubanks, junior, and Hank Sledge, sophomore, both officers in the show. The audience can only assume that she will be executed as well.

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Lucas Keener, senior, and Zhanae Fudge, senior, during the observation. Keener played Vio (short for violence) and liked the observation while Fudge played Tor (short for history) and was really sassy.

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Nicci Farland (Rea) and Lucas Keener (Vio) argue during the confrontation. Rea just revealed that her brother was one of the criminals being executed.

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Becca Bishop, senior, plays Rul and gets ready for her observation. Rul (short for Rules) was a stuck-up character who followed the rules to a “T”.

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Fea reassures himself that “the observation is a necessary element of [his] education. Aaron won best male actor for his role.

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Ashlynn Lindsey, senior, gets her makeup done by Jillian Alston, junior. Both play officers in the show.

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Stage managers Scot Cohran, junior, and Jessica Nelson, senior, spray Chris Moore’s, senior, beard white before the play. Moore played Officer Ash, who watched over the observation and kept the observers in line.

Ola’s drama department performed “Look Me in the Eye” for competition one-acts at the Henry County Performing Arts Center Saturday, Oct 21 and brought home many awards.

“Look Me in the Eye” is a dystopian play where the government is overbearing and sadistic; teenagers are forced to watch criminal executions, while being told that, “the observation is a necessary element of [their] education.”

Debra O’Quinn, assistant principal and former one-act coach during teaching years, watched the play, she thoroughly enjoyed it and creeped out at how dark it got.

“That was pretty awesome, pretty awesome…When you realize that every muscle in your body is tense, you know it was awesome because I don’t know that I relaxed, and I’m not sure I blinked,” O’Quinn said.

The cast was not able to invoke this emotion overnight, it took many practices and hard dedication.  

“ [They’re] amazing. I could not be more proud of them…Their dedication was always there but they upped the intensity of it. They were committed from the beginning but I think the adrenaline got to them…and I think they really got the life or death of it,” Meggie Edwards, drama teacher and one-act director, said.

It was literally life or death for many of the characters. Nicci Farland, senior, for example, played Rea (short for Reason). In the play, her brother was one of the “criminals” set for execution and she had to watch without making a scene or she would be next.

“It was really difficult because…I have a big brother who is literally my best friend so it was kind of hard in rehearsals to try to imagine going through what my character had to go through with her brother knowing how close I am to mine,” Farland said.

Zac Aaron, sophomore, was the only underclassman with a lead. His character was called Fea (short for Fear) and was terrified of getting caught being insubordinate during the observation.

“I love it, especially being leads with a bunch of upperclassmen. They really taught me so much about acting and they really welcomed me in. It was awesome,” Aaron said.

Because many seniors were leads, next year’s competition one act will be much harder without them.

“I am losing some amazing seniors but we have some great up-and-coming kids as well so we’ve got a great department all around. Our underclassmen are amazing,” Edwards said.

That being said, the drama department encourages students to start thinking about auditioning for next years play.

“Do it, audition. Even if you don’t get into the cast do whatever you can for the show so you can be apart of this. This has literally been one of the best experiences I’ve had in high school,” Farland said. This is her second and last competition one act.

Zac Aaron won best male actor out of the county. Mackenzie Kelley (who played Officer Flint), senior, won all-star cast member. “Look Me in the Eye” won best costumes and took home 5th out of the entire county.

“Look Me in the Eye” will perform for the last time on Friday, Oct 27.

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