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Lafayette and Tates Creek secure top honors in state theater festival

Lafayette (SCAPA) earned Best Play honors and Tates Creek was first runner-up in the Kentucky Theatre Association’s 2018 high school festival and play competition, which featured a dozen top entries from across the state. Both groups will now represent Kentucky at a Southeast conference this winter. 

Lafayette’s production of “The Taste of Sunrise” is a bilingual play that takes place in the mind and memory of the main character, Tuc, who explores the moral ambiguities of modern times and the cultural complexities of deafness with humor and compassion. “I could not be more proud of the work ethic and passion these young artists have shown,” said theater teacher Amie Kisling. “To learn this script in American Sign Language and embrace and celebrate deaf culture has made their performance one full of heart, and the storytelling grows with every performance.”  

Tates Creek, under the direction of teacher Daniel Ellis, is presenting “The Trojan Women.” “Our students worked incredibly hard on this production – reblocking, revisioning, and studying practices from early Greek theater as well as Theatre of War,” Ellis said. “Many people would say the content of this production would be beyond high school students, but they have exceeded even their own expectations and grasp the work in a respectful and beautiful way.”  

A group from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School also competed Nov. 16-18 in Madisonville, having advanced to state from the central region. Among individual awards, Lafayette’s Kieshaun Butts was named top male performer and Tates Creek’s Natalie Hayslett the top female performer in the state festival. The all-star cast included Helena Schatzki of Lafayette, Katherine DeBoor of Tates Creek, and Quiana Miller Walker of Dunbar. 

For questions, please email theater contact Jeremy Kisling

From left: Katherine DeBoor, Natalie Hayslett, Kieshaun Butts, and Helena Schatzki.

What’s next?

The Lafayette and Tates Creek groups will compete in the High School Theatre Festival during the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s 2019 convention, set for Feb. 28 through March 1 in Knoxville, Tennessee. They will vie for the Southeast title, facing the top two teams from each of the SETC member states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.


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