Ardmore High School speech and drama team performs in regional One Act competition

Wulf James-Roby
The Daily Ardmoreite

On October 11 and 12 the ACT, Ardmore High School’s Speech and Drama team, went on their first out of town competition since the pandemic halted travel in March of 2020.  Coach Noel Collins and 14 students traveled to Stigler, Oklahoma, for the OSSAA Regional One Act Play Completion.   

“This was a big one for us.” Coach Noel Collins said. “When I took over the program a year ago we were facing a lot of upheaval.  I was a first time head coach, and for the first year of my tenure we couldn't travel anywhere.  Every competition last year was a virtual competition.”   

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Ardmore competed with five schools performing a shortened version of the play 26 Pebbles by playwright Eric Ulloa.

Ardmore competed with five schools performing a shortened version of the play "26 Pebbles" by playwright Eric Ulloa. 

“This is a really amazing work of theatre,” Collins said.  The play, written in 2017, tells the story of the community of Newtown, Connecticut, and shows the impact of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary which claimed the lives of 26 first graders and teachers.  “The unique thing about this particular work is that the dialogue is not traditional dialogue,” Collins said. “The playwright actually went to Newtown and interviewed these people who were so directly impacted by this tragedy.  The dialogue that appears on the page and on the stage is directly from those interviews.  The words you hear on the stage are the words of the real survivors of Sandy Hook.”

Ardmore ACT celebrated their performance at the OSSAA Competition in Stigler.

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While Ardmore fell short of qualifying for the State One Act competition, missing qualifying by a single ranking point, Collins said he considers this to be a successful competition.  “A year ago I was struggling with keeping kids excited about this activity because the in person element had been taken away,” Collins said. “This trip really rejuvenated our squad and makes me very excited for what the future will bring to the ACT.  As this team grows and matures it looks incredibly bright.”   

Despite missing out on a trip to the State Competition, Ardmore didn’t leave the One Act Competition without accolades.  Junior Zoe Ballard and Sophomore Italey Brantley were named to Regional All-Star Cast, with an additional two students, Junior Bailey Bonner and Freshman Jocelyn Dennis, earning nominations from individual judges.  The ACT next begins their competitive tournament season in November.   

Ardmore High students competed in several categories in the OSSAA competition in Stigler.