CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — UPDATE 4/30:
The Tuloso-Midway High School Theatre Department recently participated in the 2021 UIL One-Act Play 4A state meet in San Antonio, and have come back to the Coastal Bend with the 2021 Conference 4A State Championship title! Congratulations to everyone involved!
With an important performance now only a week away, a young team of actors, technicians and stagehands at Tuloso-Midway High School continues to rehearse and improve.
The theatre company will be facing seven other schools on April 29 for the UIL One-Act Play contest’s 4A state meet at Davenport High School in San Antonio.
Wendy Pratt, one of the three theatre directors at Tuloso-Midway, said the crew has been working on the play since December. They have since advanced through district, bi-district and regional competitions.
“Our season got cut quite short last year, so we’re very excited to be back on the stage and presenting our work in any form or fashion,” Pratt said. “To be presenting it on the state stage is an honor, always.”
Including alternates, Tuloso-Midway’s team is composed of about 20 students. Together, they’ve been performing scenes from Joe DiPietro’s Over the River and Through the Woods in a rigorous single act that cannot exceed 40 minutes.
The play is a comedy focused around “Nick,” an Italian-American man who is trying to move forward with an important job promotion that would take him far away from a family that is going out of their way to convince him to stay.
“It’s really about family and the closeness, taking the time to really be with your family in the moment,” Pratt said.
That message isn’t lost to the students.
“Since we’re basing our story off of the family, we’ve become just a family as well, and I think because of our show — we’ve become a lot closer,” said Jesse Garibay, a senior and stage manager. "Especially since we’ve been touching bases on the family and the importance of it.
"We’ve encountered so many hills, and every single time we just, we speed through it, and it’s so amazing to see how far we’ve come in our company and to know we really deserve to go and be here.”
Lorena San Pedro, another senior, said she’s been a part of their One-Act Play every year while in high school.
“We’ve gone to state my freshman and my sophomore — junior year, because of COVID — we couldn’t really do anything, but I’m so excited happy that we get to continue on this path,” she said, adding that even though the pandemic has introduced more challenges, she’s glad to be on stage. “We don’t really get to interact with each other the way we normally would, so I can’t take your hand and practice. I have to stay at a distance with a mask. So with that, like the personal connection of it, gets kind of thrown off.
But whenever we come here we still get to tell the story and everything, so it’s that connection despite the distance that we still get to put on what makes it important. I love it — I love telling a story, I think it’s one of the best things that we can give people as an escape right now, so — it’s never too hard.”
Ahead of the competition, the school will hold limited-seating performances open to the public at the Sue Nelson Performing Arts Center on Tuesday and Thursday. More information can be found on the department’s Facebook page.