Moment to Shine: PHS student in Birmingham children’s play – Shelby County Reporter
PELHAM – Cole Hall, a sophomore at Pelham High School, said he had always had an interest in acting, but it wasn’t until last school year that he enrolled in a acting classes. His hard work quickly paid off and his natural talent shone when he was recently chosen to star in a play at the Birmingham Children’s Theater, “The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963”.
The play was adapted by Reginal Andre Jackson from Christopher Paul Curtis’ book and is directed by Chalethia Williams. The play follows the story of an African-American family, the Watson, who travel from Michigan to Birmingham in 1963 to visit their families only to find themselves in the midst of the civil rights movement and the tragic bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
Hall plays Byron Watson, the eldest of three children in the family who has earned a reputation as a provocateur. Hall said the role marks his “first serious role” as an actor.
Hall said he was surprised to learn that he had been chosen to play Byron, but he was even more shocked to learn that teachers and administrators at PHS were willing to work with him so that he could profit. of this opportunity.
During rehearsals, the school allowed Hall to leave at 1:30 p.m. to go to practice at 2 p.m. The 75-minute play began in late September and will run until mid-October. On performance days, Hall may be absent from school for the whole day or half a day.
But missing school doesn’t mean he’s not responsible for handing in his schoolwork. Hall uses Google Classroom to keep up to date with his homework.
âThis experience taught me a lot about time management,â Hall said. âI have to be very proactive when it comes to doing my schoolwork. Whenever I have free time, I work on schoolwork.
Hall said acting has also taught him skills which he is sure will help him in the future as he develops his YouTube channel called Coletainment. Hall said his ultimate goal is to become a successful YouTube entertainment personality.
âActing really taught me to say and pronounce all the syllables in a word, and to be expressive,â he said. “Those two things will really help me speak on camera for my YouTube channel.”
But playing in the room has a downside. As Hall is not yet 16, he is not being paid for his role in the play. He said it was a tough pill to swallow at first, but now he realizes how great the opportunity is.
âIt means a lot to me to have the support of my family and the school, and overall it has been a great experience,â he said. âA large part of my family came to sit in the front row. It was hard not to smile on stage, but I succeeded.
PHS drama teacher Melissa Bailey took 36 of her students on a field trip on October 2 to watch the play.
âWe mainly wanted him to feel supported by his community and recognize his hard work,â Bailey said. âFor someone who has only been in theater for a year, landing a role at Birmingham Children’s Theater is impressive.â
âOne of my classmates said I made them cry, so that was pretty cool,â Hall said.