—Eric Annet, Public Relations—
On December 11, 2017, Mr. Ellis, of the theater department of Cosby High School, sat down to talk about his competition piece in the HSL Theater competition. In the section are their competitors: Clover Hill, Manchester, and James River, all in the running for the top spot. It will take place at the end of January or by the start of February. The actors will be judged upon by theater professionals and the top two school will get the opportunity to compete in the super region than the top two from the super region will go to the States Competition. Mr. Ellis hopes to place high against the other schools.
The piece they are doing is called Property Rites, written by Alan Haehnel. The story is about a man named Kyle Macmanus who invests his money into sixteen animatronic figures who start to act like actual humans and begin to gain sentience. Kyle thinks this as a glitch and the art piece being broken from what it was. The darker tone is supposed to create an ambiguous atmosphere for the audience to reflect upon. The deeper meaning is supposed to question what it means to be human and when owning something that are the responsibilities of taking care of it. The inspiration for the decision of choosing Property Rites is a TV show known as WestWorld from HBO. Both properties have the similarity of having robots learning to become human. Becoming out of our control where simulations, that are supposed to be human-like, stop being simulations and start being more than that.
Mr. Ellis has big plans for his play, bringing in several seniors for one last hoorah before they leave. Garrison Holt, Jen Freitas, Sam Doolin, and Adam Colada are just a few of the seniors who are staring that are returning to give it one more shot. Mr. Ellis has also decided to let a few freshmen spread their wings and fly, with a few others who aren’t seniors either. Trying to show his wide variety of different talents across the school, Mr. Ellis wants to give everyone a shot. Joshua Shane, Katie Thomas, and Jacqueline McGowan are some of the strong, but young talent that he bringing to the tablet. The reason he’s bringing this much variety is that he needs certain characters for a role. He wants to cultivate their talent and see how they can grow from that point forward.