One-Act Play Advances to UIL Bi-District Contest

One-Act Play Advances to UIL Bi-District Contest
Posted on 03/31/2015
One-Act Play Advances to UIL Bi-District Contest

Eisenhower High School’s ‘Flyin’ West’ One-Act Play Advances to UIL Bi-District Contest


Roinicia Harris (far left) and Catherine Ewing perform a scene from “Flyin’ West.”


The theater troupe from Eisenhower High School will compete at the Bi-District UIL Contest in April. The troupe advanced after its performance at the District 18-6A UIL One-Act Play Contest held March 28 at Aldine High School. The students performed Flyin’ West by Pearl Cleage.

Carver’s theater troupe competed against Eisenhower, MacArthur, Aldine, Davis and Nimitz high schools. Theater troupes from Northbrook High School and Memorial High School from Spring Branch ISD also took part. But AISD schools swept the District 18-6A UIL One-Act Play Competition. Carver, Eisenhower and MacArthur advanced to the bi-district event.


Jazmyne Bledsoe, Cameron Pleasant, Catherine Ewing and Yarely Guerra (l-r) in a scene from “Flyin’ West.”

Flyin’ West highlights the struggles of Black homesteaders in Nicodemus, Kansas. Set in 1898, Cleage’s play includes a sparse cast of six characters. The play gives people a glimpse of the tribulations that freed Black slaves faced even after the abolition of slavery. Black Americans fled the south to available lands provided by the Federal Government in the Homestead Act. The Great Migration from the American South is known as the Black Exodus.

The idea of freedom and the pursuit of happiness rocks throughout the play.Flyin’ West scrutinizes the lives, memories and hopes of four women — Sophie, Miss Leah, Fannie and Minnie. They each cling ferociously to the parcel of land the government granted them under the Homestead Act of 1862. For instance, Sophie fights against land speculators who do their best to trick away land and re-develop it for profit. And Minnie yearns for freedom within her own abusive marriage.

Student Catherine Ewing received Best Actress for her role as Minnie.


Catherine Ewing, Yarely Guerra, Roinicia Harris and Leslie Cavazos stand (l-r) with their awards.


I was so shocked when they called my name,” Catherine said. “It’s a huge honor. Best Actress is the highest award a female performer can receive and words cannot describe what this means to me.

Yarely Guerra and Roinicia Harris also had outstanding performances. The both received Honorable Mentions for their roles. And Leslie Cavazos received Best Technician Award.

Cameron Pleasant, Jazmyne Bledsoe, Phillip Burton Jacqueline Cardona, Selena Poindexterbrown, Samuel Salceda, Leslie Cavazos and Emily Luong comprised the cast and crew of the play.

Crystal Rose, Kristin Wilson and Emerald Merrell direct the troupe.

The students worked so hard over the past eight weeks,” Rose said. “All that effort paid off. I couldn’t be more proud of the troupe. But we have more to do. It takes a lot of work to create magic on the theater stage!

Rose is in her fourth year as head theater director.

Eisenhower High School along with Carver High School and MacArthur High School will compete at the Bi-District Contest. The UIL event is set for Saturday, April 11 at The Berry Center in Cypress, TX. The campuses invite folks to come out to support the students. Admission to the event is $10.


The Eisenhower High School theater troupe poses for a picture after the District UIL Contest.


Eisenhower High School made U.S. News & World Report‘s Best High Schools in the U.S. 2014 rankings. The campus is an IB World School. Eisenhower offers students the opportunity to take part in its rigorous academic program and to earn an IB diploma.