By Rebekah Martin
Those who missed the opportunity to see the Opelika High School Theatre Society perform their award-winning interpretation of “Quilt: A Musical Celebration” will have one final chance Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Opelika Performing Arts Center.
The one-act piece won the OHTS several awards at the Walter S. Trumbauer state competition last December. The troupe brought home Best in Show and Best Ensemble. Drama teacher Revel Gholston was also named the Drama Teacher of the Year by his fellow educators.
Gholston said “Quilt” is vastly different than other plays he and his students have taken on. It is a collage of stories of people affected by the AIDS epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s and includes shadow pantomime work, solos, duets and vignettes. Gholston said while many of their other performances have been full of characters, props and special lighting, “Quilt” is different in that there are only 12 students in the entire piece, and they remain on the stage the entire time.
After returning from Trumbauer, Gholston received a special request, inviting the cast to Chattanooga, Tenn., to perform “Quilt” at the Southeastern Theatre Annual Conference March 6. Gholston said the recognition and the invitation were a surprise. “It’s an amazing thing,” Gholston said. “I had told these kids from the very beginning that we are just going to represent Opelika and not expect much. So to win Best Ensemble and then come home and read that email was just flooring.”
Senior Emily Johnston, who plays Mrs. D’Angleo, said she feels like the cast is ready to perform Quilt one more time. “I feel like we’re going to be able to perform it without having to worry about being judged,” Johnston said. “So it’s just leaving it all on the stage. We will get to show people what we have in Opelika – that there’s talent here.”
The OHTS will accept donations instead of selling tickets for the final performance.