PHS theatre combines sweetness and lights

Theatre students join their teacher following a successful Dessert and Drama production at PHS. From left, Kaylie Elward, Claudia Flaherty, Jamie Stephenson, Morgan Willingham and Kristen Hayes. (Contributed)

Theatre students join their teacher following a successful Dessert and Drama production at PHS. From left, Kaylie Elward, Claudia Flaherty, Jamie Stephenson, Morgan Willingham and Kristen Hayes. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist
When PHS Theatre teacher Jamie Stephenson wants to add an extra draw to her students’ performances, dessert and drama are served together—as they were right before Pelham High School hosted Trumbauer competition in November.
“Dessert and Drama helps the community see what happens at theatre competitions. It also allows students to see their weak spots before competition. This weekend we compete against six schools in studio theatre. We are also hoping for 25 superiors in our 25 individual competition events so that all of our kids can represent Pelham at state,” Stephenson said.
Many performances received rave reviews. The desserts were impressive with arrays of cookies and other baked goods and a very elegant chocolate fountain filling tables in the auditorium lobby.
“Taylor Sund and Erin Patterson made me laugh to the point of tears with their interview skit,” said Senior Sarah Sansom.  Many students echoed Sansom’s praises for the performers.
“It’s impressive that the kids will get up in front of their peers and do what they love,” said Robin Willingham, mother of junior Morgan Willingham.
In the past, Dessert and Drama has been a spring event; however, this year calendars are a bit shifted.
“When we hosted our first Dessert and Drama last spring, it was so popular that we decided to have the event in both fall and spring this year,” said Stephenson. “This event allows us to have a final run through with a live audience before they compete.  Experiencing an audience respond to your work is an important element of preparation.”
“The performances were great,” said PHS teacher Rebecca Burnett following the performances.
Theatre students are only allowed to partake of the dessert after the performances end and their audience has all had their fill. The students’ delight and enjoyment of the sweets reveals that they’re happy with their performances.
“We have the talent and the drive to be the best in the state; we just have to keep our focus. Pelham kids have incredible talent; I am spoiled to be able to work with them every day,” said Stephenson.