Fighting Demons Cast Goes to VHSL


Courtesy of Menchville Drama Department

The cast and crew of “Fighting Demons” waits in a classroom before the competition begins.

It was early morning at Gloucester High School when people began to fill the auditorium, chit-chatting as they waited for the play to begin. Soon the lights began to dim. There was a brief moment of nerve-wracking silence, and then the spotlights came on.  The cast of Menchville’s one-act play, “Fighting Demons” began to perform.  And, after what felt like simultaneously the longest and shortest thirty minutes of their lives, it was all over. The cast said their last lines, the lights went off, and they packed up the set and left the stage. The rest of the day was spent in a hectic, elated blur of watching the other shows and nervously waiting for results.

This dark play, “Fighting Demons,” is about a group of teens trapped in a limbo-like state. There, they face their problems or ‘demons’. The show follows the group of teens and their struggles as they try to escape from limbo and their problems. Serious topics like cancer, bulimia, depression, physical abuse, sexual assault, and divorce are all tackled in this one-act.

The cast of “Fighting Demons” recently traveled to Gloucester High School to perform at the VHSL (Virginia High School League) drama competition, which was also Menchville’s first experience at a VHSL-level drama contest. Several schools attended the event, including Warwick High School, Nansemond River High School, Bethel High School, and Gloucester High School. The schools arrived in the early morning of February 3 at Gloucester High School- all with the hopes of taking first place with their one-acts.

After the performances finished, judges took time to talk to each school individually, giving them feedback and suggestions for improvements to make the one-act better. Following this, awards were awarded for different categories in the competition.

Menchville won two awards at the VHSL competition. Oliver Smith-Nolker and Emma Janney tied for fifth place for the ‘Best Actor Award’.  The cast won third place for “overall performance of a one-act.”

The Menchville Theater Department hopes to attend the competition again next year now that they know exactly what to expect in the event.  With only two seniors leaving the ensemble between now and the VHSL competition next year, the group expects to grow and improve before the 2018-19 event.