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By Whitney Wyatt
The Red River Sun
CHILDRESS – The Childress High School one-act play cast and crew brought home four awards after performing “Dirt” at the UIL One-Act Play contest on March 10 in Shallowater.
Calliope Gay earned a spot on the All-Star Cast while Sam Lathem and Lauren Hightower were named to the Honorable Mention All-Star Cast. Ben Ellerbrook also received the Honored Technician award. While the CHS One-Act Play team did not advance to Bi-District, Director Hannah Lathem was proud of their effort.
“They couldn’t have done any better, and it showed,” she said. “Their talent was obvious to all.”
After Lathem chose “Dirt,” auditions for the play started in November of 2020. She said she picked this play because it is new. The author Mandy Conner lent them her set and helped the cast. She even did a Zoom call with them.
“She gave us a lot of insight,” Lathem explained.
Set in 1935 when the Dust Bowl hit the Texas Panhandle, Lathem said “Dirt” is about the trials a family had. According to playscirpts.com, “When the 1935 Dust Bowl batters the Texas Panhandle with drought, dirt and devastation, the Loftin family is hit especially hard. Matriarch Edith already works a night job at the post office to help feed the household of 10, while her husband struggles to run their farm with an injured leg and an oldest son whose behavior grows increasingly erratic. Once the dust storms hit, not only do the Loftins suffer a devastating loss among their own, they also face the loss of their farm. Though Edith is sent reeling, she must find a way to move forward somehow. But where is hope to be found? A moment in American history sets the stage for this personal, immediate drama about finding purpose amid overwhelming disaster.”
Lathem said her stepmom made three of the students’ costumes while Linda Gooch and Ramona Garcia helped other students find their costumes. The set consisted of cardboard that looked like weathered wood. “It was really cool,” Lathem said.
The cast and crew consisted of Cooper Delgado, Ben Ellerbrook, Madilyn Ellerbrook, Ariel Garrett, Calliope Gay, Lauren Hightower, Jessie Holder, Samantha Ingram, Sam Lathem, Matthew Maritnez, Kara Palomo, Darren Pratt, Meg Ridens, Elijah Roark, Michael Rodriguez, Amber Sauceda, Hannah Smith, Stone Smith and Kailee Timmons.