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FHS Forensic ‘Peter Pan’ cast Memphis bound

A forensic performance won first-place in the District competition March 9 and 10, and earned 16 Farragut High School students a trip to Memphis.

The group performed the Reader’s Theatre’s Peter Pan, though Lea McMahan with the FHS Forensic department said, “Reader’s Theatre has not been produced since I’ve been with the school,” around 10 years.

McMahan did not know any specific reason for this, but said the Reader’s Theatre Peter Pan was chosen because “it allowed for a larger group of younger students to perform.

“The department has had a recent flood of new members, mostly freshmen and sophomores,” McMahan added.

Lauren Schaefer, Admirals’ Performing Arts Company president, agreed.

She said, “Of all the qualifying students, eight are new to the program.”

Though they are a young and inexperienced group, Mark Rudy said they “aren’t letting nerves get the best of them.”

Rudy plays Captain Hook, a part he specifically auditioned for, and said he isn’t nervous about the Tennessee State Forensics Competition in Memphis, though this is his first year in the APAC.

Rudy said he is “really looking forward to [performing at the State competition].”

The APAC is “one of the greatest things I’ve done in high school.”

The cast of the Reader’s Theatre “Peter Pan” includes: Ashley Sizemore, Blake Venable, Mark Rudy, Brooke Rooney, Aaron Hinds, Taylor Helmboldt, Stephanie Weir, Mallory Heinzen, Jani Radhakrishnan, Erika Brandt, Jordan Felts, Liz Falstreau, Kelly Tsaltas, and Victoria Koscia, with Kayleigh Milas and Tyler Mascia as understudies.

The cast of “Peter Pan” is not the only students who placed in the District competition. McMahan said a performance of the one-act Arthur Miller play, “The Crucible,” won secondplace.

In addition, McMahan said the following students competed in individual events: Lauren Schaefer and Taylor Helmboldt in Duo Interpretation; Jani Radhakrishnan and Erika Brandt in Duo Interpretation; Vance McCarty and Alex Robnett in Duet Acting; Amber Woods in Poetry Interpretation; Logan Blevins in Prose Interpretation; Aaron Hinds in Mime; Kayleigh Milas in Storytelling; Jessica Zwanziger in Dramatic Interpretation; Mark Rudy in Humorous Interpretation; Kenny Jacobs in Original Oratory and Emily Poulsen in TV Broadcasting.

McMahan added that several of these individuals earned a trip to the State competition along with the “Peter Pan” cast, including president Schaefer.

Schaefer was named to the All-Star Cast in the District competition, along with Alex Robnett and Vance McCarty.

Joe LeSage won Best Actor overall.

A total of twenty-four students qualified for the State competition.

It will be held Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28, and McMahan said they are looking at ways to help finance their transportation to Memphis.

Fund-raising events are still being discussed, but she knew that a Performance Showcase will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, at the Ferguson Theatre on Farragut High School campus.

Tickets are $5 at the door and proceeds are going to help the students pay for the trip.

Reader’s Theatre does not use props, costumes, or memorizing.

Actors stand or sit on the stage and read the script, with no movement from the waist down.

Actors use facial expressions and expression in voice to help the audience understand the story.

Rather than looking at each other while performing, actors look out beyond the audience.


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