More Than Just Scripts – A Look Into UIL Theatre


Shreya Pendse, Editor

February and March are known for being UIL season, and this year is no exception. The LTHS Theatre Department will be competing in the UIL One-Act Play regional competition on April 15th. 

Due to the recent snowstorm, and COVID-19, some changes have been made to the UIL schedule, according to Mr. Michael Hollomon, the theatre director. 

“One major change is that instead of having an Area contest, they only advanced two schools from Bi-District and those schools go straight to Regionals,” Mr. Hollomon said.

This year’s show is Wit, by Margaret Edson. The play is about Dr. Vivian Bearing, a professor of English, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. The play is set towards the end of her life. 

“Over the course of the play, Vivian reflects on her life,” Mr. Hollomon said. “This is a play about survival, and also hope. It also deals with human compassion, and how we should treat others.”

Senior Olivia Hankins plays Vivian, who is described as someone who is very witty, but is also alone. However, despite the heavy themes of the play, there is still some humor incorporated, through Vivian’s wit. 

“My favorite part about playing Vivian is the comedy,” Hankins said. “She’s very witty, sarcastic, and brings a lot of humor to a show that would otherwise be dreary without her. She’s a light of positivity and hope in the lives of the people around her.”

Another character in the play, who is somewhat similar to Vivian, is Dr. E.M. Ashford, her mentor, played by sophomore Brianna Willingham. Dr. Ashford is similar to Vivian, in that she also is a strict and stern professor, but like Vivian, there is more to her personality than just that. 

“One of my favorite parts about Ashford is how she is not just stuffy and strict,” Willingham said. “She is also caring and a bit humorous when she wants to be, which is really fun to play with.”

Both Hankins and Willingham have won awards at the competitions so far, and both have said that they very much enjoy the UIL experience, and enjoy working with a close-knit company. 

“The best part of UIL are the competition days,” Hankins said. “That’s when we all come together, and see all of the hard work that we have put into countless hours of rehearsal pay be paid off.”

She also said that she loves seeing how the play impacts the people, whether they are in the cast, the audience, or even the judges. Willingham also said that her favorite part of UIL also involves the day of the competition. 

“My favorite part about competing sounds kind of weird, but it’s the rush of purpose and nervousness and chaos that happens right before we perform,” she said. “Of course, I also love celebrating if we advance with the company and sharing our happiness in getting to do the show again.”

Although there have been many ups and downs, and changes this year, especially with the unexpected weather, the UIL competitions still continued. The next competition for the company is Regionals. 

“We are fortunate to be able to tell our story again,” Mr. Hollomon said. “And I have great hope that we will be able to advance to State.”