SCAPA theater students from Lafayette High School won “Best Play” honors at the 2020 Southeastern Theatre Conference convention, along with awards for Overall Technical Excellence and Spirit of the Festival. According to Lafayette theater teacher Amie Kisling, this is only the second time in 71 years that Kentucky has won “Best Play” and the first time a Fayette County school has placed. The spirit award, given by the festival organizers and stage crew, recognizes the school with the most outstanding community, collaboration, professionalism, and “vibe” backstage and onstage.
In other honors, the judges’ All-Star Cast included Kieshaun Butts, Daniel Baesler, and Catron Arnold from Lafayette, and Joseph Ntakarutimana and Gabe Francis from Tates Creek High School. The Tates Creek group, directed by teacher Daniel Ellis, also won for Best Ensemble.
Each year, the SETC welcomes some 5,000 actors, singers, dancers, designers, technicians, stage managers, directors, playwrights, teachers, students, and professionals for 3½ days of workshops, keynotes, performance festivals, auditions, college recruiting, job interviews, and more. The 2020 convention ran from Feb. 26 to March 1 in Louisville, where the top two high school teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia competed for Southeastern bragging rights.
The Lafayette students presented “Failure: A Love Story” by playwright Philip Dawkins, and the Tates Creek ensemble performed “James and the Giant Peach,” based on the classic children’s book. In the fall, Lafayette and Tates Creek had taken first and second place, respectively, in the Kentucky Theatre Association’s 2019 high school festival and play competition.