For the third time since 2005, student actors from Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville-along with a trio of actresses "on loan" from Harpeth Hall School-have claimed the state one-act play competition during this past weekend's Tennessee Theatre Association annual meeting in Maryville.
As a result, MBA's production of The Elephant Man will represent the Volunteer State at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, next spring.
"The students did an amazing job with this production and will represent Tennessee at SETC in Louisville in March," says Rick Seay, director of the production.
In addition to being named "Best Play," the production also claimed All-Star Cast List awards during TTA's Maryville competition for four of its cast members, including Mattison Asher (who played Ross), Jess Darnell (Dr. Frederick Treves), Alex Floyd (John Merrick) and Alexandra Thornton (Mrs. Kendal).
Previous Best Plays from MBA include Oh, What a Lovely War! (2005) and The Insanity of Mary Girard (2008). Last year's production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown was state runner-up and was invited to participate in SETC. Montgomery Bell Academy has an active theater program that produces six shows during each academic year.
Cast members included Jess Darnell, Coleman Sorenson, Josh Rotker, Mattison Asher, Drew Gordon, Alex Floyd, Henry Rogers, Vince Panvini, Neal Hawkins, Lizzie Boston, Ellie Hitt, Alexandra Thornton and Kang Huh. Directed by Rick Seay, production manager was Parrish Preston, with William Hall and Jamie Payne as stage managers. Boston, Hitt and Thompson are all students at Harpeth Hall, while the remainder of the cast and crew are MBA students.
pictured: Jess Darnell and Alex Floyd