Northside wins state title in One Act event

Sun News CorrespondentNovember 7, 2012 

Northside High School’s production of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” won the AAAAA championship at the state One Act competition held Saturday at Perry High School.

Also winning in an individual category was Ben Stroman, a senior at Northside, who was chosen as best actor in AAAAA.

This is the second year in a row that Stroman was selected for the honor. He was chosen last year as best actor in AAAA.

Two Northside students, J’Quan Gulley and Ariana Snowden, were both selected to the state All-Star cast.

Northside has dominated the One Act competition since it was created in 1999. Before then, One Act was part of a literary competition. Northside won state championships in One Act in the AAAA classification in 1999, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011 and in AAAAA in 2008 and 2012.

Brian Barnett, who has been drama director at Northside for the past 13 years, credited the state championship this year to his students and their dedication to their craft.

“They have such an energy and enthusiasm,” Barnett said. “When they are on stage, you just see the love and the passion that they have, and when they leave the stage that is what you remember.”

With 40 cast members, Northside had the largest show at the AAAAA competition. While Barnett said he could have produced the show with about half the number of students, he said the large cast was essential to the win.

“We really wanted to make it an ensemble driven show. It really is impressive to see such a diverse group show their unique talents. Having all 40 on the stage is also impressive. When the judges have the opportunity to see all 40 giving 100 percent it just adds so much to the show,” Barnett said.

As for his student Best Actor, Barnett said that Stroman’s self-motivation and drive is evident in his performance.

“You can just tell how hard he works on his own, “ Barnett said of Stroman. “He just has something special, that extra quality that you see every now and then.”

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