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Theater duo early qualifiers for state

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Faith Hooks

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The Judson Theater Productions team is not unfamiliar with competing in state competitions and placing at tournaments frequently. The team is known to have at least one member compete during UIL state every year, many of their members qualify for nationals, and perform at the Texas Forensics Association (TFA) state competition annually.

It usually takes competitors a number of competitions before they gather enough points to qualify for state, but the team already has two state qualifiers.

Junior Nathaniel Cullors and freshman Joshuah Mayo are duo partners who have qualified for state after only two competitions.

For the first two Saturdays of September, these two have performed a ten minute duo interpretation piece of the well known musical The Wiz. They perform the piece in front of an audience and a panel of judges, and took home first place trophies both times.

Although state is months from now, the two are not planning on slowing down their first place momentum.

“State is happening in March, so it is a pretty long ways away, but we are already state qualified so we are going to continue to compete and hopefully knock out some competition,” Cullors said.

Many people do not realize that competing in a TFA competition is an exhausting experience.

“It is a full time job. I wake up at four o’clock in the morning and [the competition] goes all the way until eight o’clock at night or night o’clock at night,” Cullors said. “It is a pretty long day and we compete about two or three times a month.”

While having a freshman be state qualified is a big deal, the theater director hopes that this example will lead other freshman to follow Mayo’s footsteps.

“I think that it is really important for our beginning theater students to see that it does not take age in order to get high achievement. You can do it at any level and at any time, all you have to do is put in the work and the time and you can achieve amazing goals very early,” head theater coach Mr. Larry Bailey said.

For Mayo though, he is not sure how to feel about this big achievement.

“I do not think I fully understand the entire meaning of, ‘Okay, you are a freshman going to state Mayo said.

Cullors, on the other hand, knows exactly how he feels about the accomplishment, as this will be his first time at TFA state and the location of the competition has a special meaning to him.

“I am very excited. [State is being held] at La Vernia, which is an amazing school,” said Cullors. “Coincidentally, La Vernia was the first competition that I ever went to.”

With state in mind, the duo are looking forward to continuing the Judson Theater Productions legacy and hopefully becoming state champions.

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Theater duo early qualifiers for state