Electra Cut Short From District Comp

Gabriella Velazquez and Eliel Muniz dance under the spotlight. Photo by Vinson Van

The curtains open in the darkness. The first thing the audience sees is Electra (Gabriella Velazquez) and her father, Agamemnon (Eliel Muniz), dancing together under a single spotlight before a deep red light lit up the stage. The lights cut darkness with a terrifying yowl as Electra wakes from her sleep.

The theater department performed Electra, for the UIL One-Act Play competition. The cast won acting and technical awards*** and advanced to bi-district. Electra (sometimes written Elektra) is originally a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. While the original writing spans a much longer period of time and a more complex story, theater directors, Mr. Dean Whitus and Mrs. Mahalia Dinglasan, were able to edit and rewrite the script to make it fit the One-Act-Play structure. 

Electra (Gabriella Velazquez) cries out for her late father as she wakes from her nightmare. Photo by Mya Barrera

“I kid you not, we had four scripts,” junior Jamerion Estrada-Wilkerson (Orestes) said. “It was all over the place for a good minute.”

Script changes weren’t the only issue the cast had to deal with. 

“At the competition, you only have seven minutes to set up and seven minutes to strike,” senior Serina Gonzalez (Stage manager for Electra) said. “And the actual play itself needs to be under 40 minutes because if you go over it’s a DQ and you get disqualified from the competition.”

On top of the time restraint, the difficulty of performing the Greek tragedy proved challenging at first for the actors. 

“This play was particularly hard for me,” senior Gabriella Velazquez (Electra) said. “The entire time I was on stage my body was shaking and full of energy. She [Electra] was full of rage and vengeance. It was weighing me down.”

The women of Argos console Electra. Photo by Mya Barrera

All of the actors had to audition with monologues and prove that they could pull off the emotion necessary for the role. Still, some of the actors still got critiques about their performances. 

“In our first round, we got notes from a judge that was pretty much like ‘hey all the male characters look really bad and all the girl characters are great’,” Estrada-Wilkerson said. “I was honestly devastated, but with those notes that he gave me, it was a lot better than it was before.”

Despite all their efforts, the cast made it to bi-districts but was not able to advance to the area. 

“We went out there and we gave it our all,” Gonzalez said. “I think it was probably one of our best performances ever. Unfortunately, the judges didn’t agree.” 

***Awards won at Zone (Johnson High School):

Electra is pleading with her Chysothemis (Sabrina Suarez) to put a lock of her hair on their father’s grave. Photo by Vinson Van
  • Outstanding Technicians: Serina Gonzalez & Logan Zimmerman
  • Best Performer: Gabriella Velazquez
  • All-Star Cast: Reagan Whitenack 
  • Honorable Mention: Sabrina Suarez, Rachel Moore, Kate Crowley, Laney Schwartz, Charis Tate, Valeria Tuesta, Arwen Loxom, Teagan Leader, Carmen Mihleder

Awards won at District (Madison High School):

  • Outstanding Technicians: Jonathan Thompson & Xander Robinson
  • Best Performer: Gabriella Velazquez
  • All-Star Cast: Sabrina Suarez
  • Honorable Mention: Jamerion Estrada-Wilkerson

    Electra and Orestes (Jamerion Estrada-Wilkerson) reunite after many years apart. Photo by Vinson Van.

Awards won at Bi-District (East Central High School):

  • Honorable Crew 
  • Outstanding Technician: Logan Zimmerman
  • All Star Cast: Gabriella Velazquez
  • Honorable Mention All-Star Cast: Jamerion Estrada Wilkerson & Reagan Whitenack

 

Electra Cast & Crew: 

  • Sofia Crowe
  • Kate Crowley

    Electra and Orestes hug after deciding to go with their plan to kill Clytemnestra (Reagan Whitenack). Photo by Mya Barrera
  • Elijah Del Toro
  • Jamerion Estrada-Wilkerson
  • Serina Gonzalez
  • Teagan Leader
  • Alyssa Lewis
  • Arwen Loxom
  • Victoria Medrano
  • Carmen Mihleder
  • Rachel Moore
  • Eliel Muniz
  • Riley Patterson
  • Xander Robinson
  • Laney Schwartz
  • Jocelynn Shay
  • Sabrina Suarez
  • Charis Tate
  • Jonathan Thompson
  • Valeria Tuesta
  • Gabriella Velazquez
  • Parker Veltman

    The cast of Electra joins together after their final performance. Photo by Vinson Van.
  • Reagan Whitenack 
  • Logan Zimmerman
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