WEBXTRA: Drama Festival showcases East Texas middle, high school students’ theater talent

WEBXTRA: Drama Festival

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - East Texas middle and high school theater students are performing at the Drama Festival in Tyler this week.

The event is one of the 14 contests held as part of the annual Academic Rodeo each year.

“It showcases the theater talents of middle school and high school students,” said Deborah Newman, the director of the Academic Rodeo. “Middle school groups present one-act plays. High school students present monologues, duologues, musical theater solos, and musical theater ensembles.”

The high school part of the festival is taking place today. The middle school plays will be performed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Xavier “Apple” Williams, a John Tyler High School student, performed a monologue at the festival.

“I was very nervous to do this,” Williams said. 'I’ve done this many times, but when you’re doing what you love, you have to overcome it."

Williams performed a monologue about a college student that keeps having a recurring dream that was several minutes long, all from memory. He said preparing to perform a monologue takes time and dedication.

Newman said that more than 100 groups are taking part in the Academic Rodeo, and more than 2,000 students have registered for the event this year. Other contests include Academic Challenge Quiz, Agriculture Identification, Art Contest, Computer Science Fair, engineering Challenge, Kinder Critters, Mathematics, Mindset Breaking Experience, Pentathlon, Science fair, Spelling Bee, Writing Contest, and Youth Fashion Show.

This is the 30th Academic Rodeo. It is presented by the Park of East Texas through proceeds from the annual East Texas State Fair, Newman said.

We’ll have more on the Drama festival later tonight.

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