Ardmore High School’s speech and debate team, The Act, fought their way into first place at the one-act play state tournament this weekend.
The group placed first at regionals earlier this month, handily earning a spot among the nine 5A schools that advanced to the state competition. McAlester placed second and Guymon placed third. The Act Coach Brian Gunter said the win was a long time coming.
“According to my knowledge, the last time Ardmore won state in One-Act was in 1962,” Gunter said. “It’s a 56-year gap.”
The play they took to competition, “Intimate Apparel,” is the first one-act the school has performed in at least a decade. One of the lead actors was seriously ill the week before the competition, but Gunter said that didn’t pose an obstacle in the end.
“The performance went almost perfectly,” Gunter said. “There was a briemoment where I had just sort of prepared myself, thinking we were going to have to drop out, but they brought it back together, went to the tournament and were amazing.”
In addition, the team couldn’t rehearse during fall break and were able to work in roughly eight hours of rehearsal between regionals and state.
“We had just enough time to make all the changes we needed to make, the kids are just so on top of it that they didn’t need anymore reinforcement,” Gunter said. “I wouldn’t have expected it to turn out so well.”
The team also won the tech division for their lighting, sound, costumes and sets. Gunter said the team hit a few technical snags at regionals, which made the win even more of a surprise. He said aside from renting the Brass Ring theatre for a few tech rehearsals, the group hadn’t had much practice with that aspect of the show.
“We don’t even have a theatre yet,” Gunter said. “We’re waiting for that to get built.”
Three of the actors, Tau’Jeeai Roberts, Amie Perry and Alexia Girard, were named all state actors.
“There’s only 10, and when you compare it to the number of all-staters in band, choir or any of the athletic, 10 is cut-throat,” Gunter said.
This week, the kids are shifting gears to head to another speech and debate tournament.
“It feels a little bit crazy,” Gunter said.
Gunter said he’s not sure what one-act play the team will compete with next year.
“I didn’t know how it would turn out, in the sense that I couldn’t imagine us not making it to the state tournament, and I really couldn’t imagine us not placing, but it’s all subjective,” Gunter said. “You never know.”