Theater students in Hawkins put on play to raise money for college scholarships

Hawkins ISD Play

HAWKINS, Texas (KLTV) - A school play put on by students at Hawkins High School won’t just provide a night of entertainment for guests, it will also help pay for a portion of the cast members’ college.

Nine high school seniors who are part of the community production of "The Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens” will be awarded scholarships after ticket sales and donations are tallied and divided between them.

What’s special about the production, cast members said, is that not only is it a comedy, but it’s a brand of humor that is specific to areas of East Texas.

“It’s what’s considered ‘southern-fried comedy’, and basically it’s set in Texas, a fictional small town in Texas that deals with small town issues,” said Candace Brooks, theater director for Hawkins Independent School District. “So people around this area will really get the humor."

Brooks explained that usually she’s able to provide two or three scholarships a year to students via the theater department’s activity fund, however this past year, she graduated 9 seniors, and she didn’t want to choose only a few who would benefit from a scholarship.

“I love this group a lot, so I decided to do a fundraiser so that we could earn enough money to give scholarships to each of the kids,” Brooks said. “In doing that, they get to work on this production; they get to take ownership of the scholarship.”

Nearly every cent earned during the production will go toward the scholarship fund; ticket sales, concession sales, as well as any donations raised.

Cast members of Hawkin High School's production of "The Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens" act out one of the scenes on set ahead of Friday's opening night show. (Source: Alex Leroux, KLTV)
Cast members of Hawkin High School's production of "The Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens" act out one of the scenes on set ahead of Friday's opening night show. (Source: Alex Leroux, KLTV)

Jolie Thomas, a senior at Hawkins HS who will play Tanzie Lockhart, will attend Tyler Junior College in the fall. She said she was excited to jump at the opportunity to earn scholarship money, which would help pay for her enrollment in the Dental Hygiene program.

“I was very excited, and I mean, it will help me a lot in college,” Thomas said.

“No matter what, I’m going to work hard in the play, and of course, just have fun and everything, but I definitely do try and do a good job. I’m not on the stage for very long, but I still try and do the best that I can so the audience and the people can enjoy it.”

One of Thomas’ castmates, Tristan Dodson, will be attending Stephen F. Austin State University in the fall, majoring in Acting and Directing. He said he was excited to receive the opportunity because it was another chance to do what he loves.

“We love getting up here and acting and doing things on stage,” Dodson explained. “We’ve been together for 4 years, so this is a chance for us to come together one last time before we all split apart. Some people will never set foot on stage again, so this is an awesome experience.”

"The Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens” will be featured Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27. The show starts at 8 p.m. both nights at W.H. Smith auditorium on the back side of Hawkins High School campus.

The final show will be held on Sunday, July 28 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 each; $5 for kids 12 and under. A donation box will also be setup for any guest who wants to give more than the ticket price.

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