SCHS Theater Program places 2nd in State

Post date: Oct 25, 2015 4:01:15 PM

Stewarts Creek High School's Red Hawk Theater, recently placed 2nd in the statewide The Tennessee Theater Association One Act Play Competition. The festival took place at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville Tennessee and features some of the strongest high school theater programs from across the state. "We are a young program, in only our 3rd year of existence, so this type of recognition is a nice validation that we are on the right track." said Donald Fann, the Theater Arts teacher at Stewarts Creek and director of the show.The students performed "The Yellow Boat" by David Saar a play based on the true story of Benjamin Saar, who was born with congenital hemophilia and died in 1987 at the age of 8 of AIDS-related complications. A uniquely gifted visual artist, Benjamin's buoyant imagination transformed his physical and emotional pain into a blaze of colors and shapes in his fanciful drawings and paintings. A Scandinavian folksong tells of three little boats: "One was blue, one was red and one was yellow as the sun. They sailed far out to sea. The blue one returned to the harbor. The red one sailed home, too. But the yellow boat sailed up to the sun." Benjamin always concluded his bedtime ritual by saying, "Mom, you can be the red boat or the blue boat, but I am the yellow boat." The Yellow Boat is a glorious affirmation of a child's life and the strength and courage of all children.

"Our students workshopped the script over the summer" Fann said "to find ways to bring Benjamin's artwork and sense of color, shape and line to stage." The cast uses colored fabric, and spandex "bags" on a whimsical playground set to create imagery that helps tell the story. The group also worked with David Saar, the playwright and Benjamin's father, and The Arizona State University Center for Child Drama, to create an exhibit of Benjamin's artwork in conjunction with the play. Images of the art are also projected during the show.

At the festival Stewarts Creek competed against 12 schools from across the state. The top two productions are eligible to compete at the Southeastern Theater Conference in Greenville North Carolina in March. In addition to placing 2nd overall Fann was recognized as "Best Director" and Hunter Thaw, Tristin Hicks and Kaelyn Giles were named to the "All Star Cast."