SCT wins multiple Southern Theatre Conference regional awards

Starkville Community Theatre cast and crew members (back row, from left) Marty Haug, Ben Lang, Thomas La Foe, Paul Ruff, Kris Lee, (middle row, from left) Mary Ann Jones, Pattye Archer, Madeline Golden and (front row) Vernell Allen won a handful awards at the Southeastern Theatre Conference regional competition for their performance of "Paper Thin" by local playwright T.K. Lee. (Submitted photo)
Staff Writer

Starkville Community Theatre won a handful of awards at the Southern Theatre Conference regional competition over the past weekend in Mobile for its performance of "Paper Thin.โ€

SCT's awards include best backstage achievement, best scenic design, a tie for best supporting actor, best production and a special award for playwriting for T.K. Lee, the playwright of "Paper Thin."

SCT executive director Gabe Smith said "Paper Thin" is the story of the long-married couple Lucrece, played by Madeline Golden, and Gerald, played by Paul Ruff, who grew up in rural Mississippi, where life was difficult, but the couple found each other, made a life together and had one son Carlie, played by Ben Lang. After watching Gerald recover from open heart surgery, Lucrece reminds her husband of something they planned on for a long time โ€” getting a divorce.

"With big decisions about the futureweighing her down, Lucrece climbs up on a ladder and sits on the rooftop of the family house, liquor bottle in hand, as Gerald tries to talk her down and Charlie learns a family secret he never saw coming," Smith said.

Smith said he went to college with playwright T.K. Lee, and he is well-known local artist, playwright and actor.

"We were able to take a new work by him and we were the first ones ever to produce it, and then we won state and won the regional competition," Smith said. "That's one of the dreams in a local community theatre to have the resources, support and talent to take a great new work written by someone in your own backyard, and take it somewhere where people say,'This is great!' That's the dream."

Smith said he is also especially proud of the best backstage achievement award.

"We won best backstage achievement, which is for our crew, and I love it for a number of reason. One โ€” because crews never get recognized, ever," Smith said.

Smith said the second reason is loves the award is because it is a teamwork award, and it is won based on the professionalism of the group and how everyone works well together.

In the regional competition, Smith said plays must follow a number of requirements including: the play must be one hour long, must be able to travel, all the set equipment and props must be able to fit in a 10 foot by 10 foot square, 10 minutes to build everything and then 10 minutes after to take everything apart.

Smith said SCT also participated in the annual state competition in Columbus, which the group also won, prior to the regional competition.

Smith said this is the second year in a row SCT has won regional, and the group has won three times in the last ten years.