Theater team makes Mason history at Regionals

Sequoia Wyckoff, Features Editor

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three students pose with trophy

Mason’s VHSL Theater team poses after winning first place at Regionals on Saturday, November 16. Left to right: senior Ciara Curtin, senior Johnny Goodwin, and junior CC Meade. (Photo courtesy of CC Meade)

If you had gone into the theater room during any Mustang block for the past two months, you would have seen Mason’s VHSL theater team –  junior CC Meade, senior Ciara Curtin, and senior Johnny Goodwin – hard at work.

On November 16, the VHSL team won first place at the regional competition at James Monroe High School, after placing first at the district competition at Warren County High School on October 26, making Mason history on both counts. 

At both competitions, Curtin and Meade won best actress and best actress runner up, respectively. Goodwin won best actor runner up at Districts and received an honorable mention at Regionals.

Curtin, Meade, and Goodwin were selected by Mr. Shawn Northrip, Mason’s theater teacher to perform his original play called Rush Lit. The play follows Russian literature performers Tanya (Meade) and Tasha (Curtin) to the National Gallery of Art, where they meet Gus, a guard (Goodwin). Rush Lit also features a cameo from junior Kevin Hong. 

“[Rush Lit] is beautiful. There’s one monologue that Northrip wrote for Johnny that brings me and Ciara to tears every time,” Meade said.

Since early October, the performers have rehearsed every Mustang block. “I am a very busy person,” Meade said. “But I put everything on hold for this. It’s that important to me. I wanted to make it the best it could be.”

Sophomore Amalia Alexander runs lights for the play and did so on a 24-hour notice before Districts. “She’s the best ever,” Meade said. “She makes perfect lights for us, and it’s perfect.”

Rush Lit’s small cast, of just four on stage and three speaking, is not common for VHSL teams. “The schools we have competed against have always had longer cast and crew lists, which was intimidating,” Curtin said. “But what we’ve done has reminded me that even on stage, quality is always the goal, never quantity.”

The cast quickly became tight-knit, Curtin said. “The three of us had never collectively acted before,” she said, referring to Meade and Goodwin. “But it has honestly been such a blessing to be able to act with them…it’s like being on the stage with a few of your really good friends. It sounds cheesy, but I truly cannot imagine doing this show without those four wonderful humans.”

“When we won, we deserved it. We knew we were good. And we were so happy, because winning meant that it wasn’t over,” Meade said.

Curtin shared that sentiment. “We would remind ourselves that we were there to give a great show, at the end of the day,” she said, “but to advance felt pretty darn good…I’m very excited that we’ve gotten this far and that I’ve gotten to share the experience with some truly remarkable people.”

The team will advance to the state competition in Charlottesville on December 3.

Meade encourages Mason students to come support the team. “We really need the energy,” she said. “The energy at districts was electric. We need that from the audience to put on a powerful show.”

Hong, Alexander, Curtin, and Goodwin will also be acting in A Chorus Line, 7:30 p.m. in the Mason Auditorium from Thursday, November 21 to Saturday, November 23.