Perry High wins with ‘A Taste of Sunrise’

Sun News correspondentNovember 20, 2013 

Perry High School’s production of “A Taste of Sunrise” won the state One Act play championship in AAAA competition held at Houston County High School on Nov. 9.

With two weeks in between its region championship win and the state competition, Perry High drama director Joseph Sendek said that the cast and crew worked diligently to improve the play.

“The thing about theater is that it is never going to be perfect; you just constantly work toward that goal. We started from the ground up, went over every single instant and how we can improve. We worked on everything, even entrances and exits,” Sendek said.

Another thing cast members tried to improve upon was their own character development.

“It is hard for a student to imagine being an adult -- especially one that has lost a spouse or buried a child. We had a lot of conversations about characters and the challenges in portraying them,” Sendek said.

“A Taste of Sunrise” is the story of a father and son. Tuck, the son, loses his hearing after a bout with scarlet fever. In the days before sign language is totally accepted, Tuck’s father sends him to a school that promises to teach him to speak.

However, students at the school have formed a sort of underground sign language group, and Tuck’s use of sign impacts his relationship with his father.

“It is a beautiful, tragic story about relationships,” Sendek said.

Russell Bugg, who played Tuck, was chosen as the region Best Actor and the state Best Actor. Bugg spent countless hours actually learning sign language.

For one of the public performances, the deaf community of Houston County was invited to the show. About 30 hearing impaired people were in the audience.

“They were so proud to see the work and so proud that these kids -- kids that are speaking and hearing without a deaf person in their life -- had put forth the effort to learn sign language,” Sendek said.

After the show, the cast met with the audience members who were deaf. They had learned enough sign language to hold actual conversations with audience members.

“It was one of those moments that you just sit back and watch,” Sendek said. “It was beautiful.”

Perry High gets right back to work with auditions this week for its spring production. Students are also working on their Christmas season production titled “A Very Perry Christmas” to be held Dec. 17.

“We started that tradition last year of putting together a Christmas show,” Sendek said.

“All of the money, 100 percent, goes to help provide Christmas for those in the community that simply can’t afford it.”

Last year’s show raised $800.

Contact Alline Kent at 478-396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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