Local News

November 11, 2012

Southeast’s ‘Insanity’ wins region, finishes fourth in state

In 1790, Mary Girard’s husband committed her to an insanity ward in the basement of Pennsylvania Hospital in City Center, Pa. In 2010, Girard’s story was adapted into a 55-minute one-act stage production by Lanie Robertson.

The Southeast High School drama department performed Robertson’s “The Insanity of Mary Girard” on Oct. 20 at the region 7-4A one-act competition at Pickens High School in Jasper. The cast of seven won best play; best actress (Adaena Perez); all-star cast (John Lee, Dakota Edwards, Kaleb Sprinkle and Savannah Whittenburg); and a trip to the state one-act competition in Warner Robins, where they placed fourth out of eight high schools on Oct. 27.

“We were all excited to get fourth place,” said Alana Sane, Southeast’s drama director. “I was also a student at Southeast and to see us do something we haven’t done in so long makes me very happy. We’ve only done it once and that was in 2004.”

Perez, who played Girard, said the recognition for her performance was surprising.

“This is my third year doing one-act plays and we won second place last year with ‘A Thurber Carnival,’ but to go to state was unbelievable,” Perez said. “Ms. Sane got us all on the bus when we were heading out and told us, ‘We’re going to state, we’re going to state.’ She was so excited. It was so amazing.”

The role of Girard requires a “mature student that understands emotion,” Sane said.

“It’s not a pleasant play, and it’s a drama that is very demanding,” she said. “You have to get across someone (Girard) who is really torn up mentally. Adaena did a really good job. She showed someone who was tearing apart physically and emotionally.”

After rehearsing for months, Perez was able to leave the extreme emotions of the play behind her when away from the production, but when she was in front of a live audience she said she “felt the desperation of insanity.”

Lee, a junior who wore a black morph suit to portray one of four mental “furies,” said Perez started to cry on stage during one of the performances.

“She really got into it,” Lee said. “She had to know how to react on stage, and when the heavier emotions had to fit into the play without overdoing it. As an actor, you know what emotions you’re suppose to have, but a lot of it comes from chemistry with the other actors.”

Lee said he was connected most to the other furies: Sprinkle, Edwards and Whittenburg.

“Me and the furies were sitting close to each other at the regions competition,” Lee said. “We got up on stage together when we were called and we just looked at each other. The first few were silent and we were thinking, ‘Did we really just win?’ We were all shocked and didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was up there with my brothers and sisters. We were a family who won regions.”

And a trip to state.

“I couldn’t go to sleep the day before,” Lee said. “It never exactly clicked that we were going to state, but then it was just like ‘We’re here.’ It was amazing.”

The ride home was the “best moment,” Sane said.

“It was amazing to reflect because we didn’t think we would win regions or to go to state,” she said. “Dalton High School did ‘Pippin,’ Gilmer High School did ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and we were used to not winning against musicals. I even told students if we did win I would dance ‘Gangnam style’ on stage. I did and it was so embarrassing. It was great, though, I didn’t mind it at all after winning.”

Perry High School near Macon placed first for “Bobby T and the Boo Hag,” written by Joe Sendek, a drama teacher at the school.

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