WCJC drama department earns top marks

The Wharton County Junior College Drama Department walked away with numerous awards from a recent play festival held at the University of North Texas in Denton. Kneeling, left to right, are Hamza Mir of Richmond, C'Aira Hearse of Wharton and Valerie Brown of Eagle Lake. Standing, left to right, are Jamie Arar of Bay City, Aline Dejesus of Palacios, Ben Wandell of Wharton, Brayden Leva of Sugar Land, Crystal Hackstedt of Needville, WCJC Drama Instructor Greg McLarty, Riley Moseley of East Bernard, Karis Meek of Hungerford, Wil Harborth of Wharton, Luis Perez of Wharton, and Maegan Hackstedt of Needville. 

The Wharton County Junior College drama department left a lasting impression at this year’s Texas Community College Speech and Theatre Association (TCCSTA) Festival.

After performing “The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong” in the Horton Foote Theatre, the play traveled to the University of North Texas and performed on Feb. 23 for the festival. The event was attended by WCJC and half a dozen other community colleges. WCJC students walked away with top awards in numerous categories.

 “I was pleasantly surprised,” said WCJC drama instructor Greg McLarty. “They came together well and knocked it out of the park. I’m proud of what they did.”

WCJC performed “The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong,” a comedy that features intentional mishaps and miscues. McLarty said both the respondent and the audience enjoyed the performance even though last-minute modifications had to be made to the set and the performance.

“We couldn’t use our fog machine because it set off the university’s fire alarms,” McLarty said. “It was disappointing but we worked around it.”

The production received an overall rating of Superior.

Other awards included:

• Technical Presentation: Excellent – Crystal Hackstedt of Needville (Props Design), Maegan Hackstedt of Needville (Hair and Makeup Design), Hamza Mir of Richmond (Light and Sound Design), Alina Dejesus of Palacios (Light and Sound Design), Jamie Arar of Bay City (Costume Design) and Wil Harborth of Wharton (Scenic Design)

• Technical Presentation: Superior – C’Aira Hearse of Wharton (Stage Management) and Riley Moseley of East Bernard (Stage Management)

• Professor’s Choice, Acting – Ben Wandell of Wharton, Luis Perez of Wharton and Brayden Leva of Sugar Land

• Audience Choice, Acting – Luis Perez of Wharton

• Respondent’s Choice – Crystal Hackstedt of Needville (Excellent/Props Design), Ben Wandell of Wharton (Superior/Acting), Wil Harborth of Wharton (Superior/Acting), Luis Perez of Wharton (Superior/Acting), Special Merit (Phenomenal Chemistry Onstage) and Greg McLarty (Superior/Scenic Design)

• Greg Schneider Award for Technical Excellence in Scenic Design – Wil Harborth of Wharton

“I couldn’t be prouder of the cast and crew and everything they accomplished for this show,” McLarty said.

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