The Act’s Amuse Bouche dessert theater showcase will serve as a sweet end to a year’s worth of hard work for Ardmore’s speech and drama students.
The annual showcase, slated for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17 at the Goddard Center for the Performing Arts, puts pieces students placed with at the state championships on display for an audience who might not ever see them otherwise. Speech and debate coach Brian Gunter said the pieces will run the gamut from comedic to tragic to thought-provoking.
“You pick the best ones, the most entertaining, the ones that add variety. You’re watching two hours worth of mini-plays,” Gunter said. “No costuming, no setting, some lighting. It’s just like they’d do it in a contest setting.”
Dessert, which is provided by Cafe Alley, will be served at 6:30 p.m., and the show will start at 7 p.m. Then, for the next two hours, students will perform pieces they fine-tuned over the course of the school year.
“It’s a chance for them to strut for their family and friends, who’ve never seen them,” Gunter said. “I wish people understood the amount of time and energy and effort they put into it.”
After the show, students will be presented with senior awards and scholarships they’ve earned.
“By the time that showcase happens we’ll know if we have a national champion or a national placer,” Gunter said. “And then we’ll have our secondary national tournament.”
Students will perform poetry, prose, oratory pieces and dramatic scenes. One piece mocks the racist history of minstrel shows, another is a humorous crossover between The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. Other pieces tackle complex topics like Rwandan genocide and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“It’s just a wide variety,” Gunter said. “And if you come to one of these things having not been entertained, having not laughed until you cried, you don’t have a soul. These kids are just phenomenal and I’m exceedingly proud of them.”
Tickets are $10 and can be ordered in advance. Money raised at the showcase is used to offset the cost of summer camp for drama students. This year, proceeds will also go toward a one act play, the first one put on by Ardmore High School in several years. The play, called “Intimate Apparel,” is a period piece that takes place in New York in 1905.
“We passed out the scripts today, we’ll audition in May,” Gunter said. “Rehearsal will start in August. My goal next year is to win two state championships in one year, the state one-act and the state speech and debate competition.”
To reserve tickets, call 580-465-0589.