DeKalb Fine Arts Theatre taking performance to state level

DeKalb County Fine Arts Theatre’s performance of “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” is heading to the state festival later this year.

The DeKalb County Fine Arts Theatre recently participated in the Walter S. Trumbauer Theatre Festival where their one-act play, “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” received Best in Show, Best Scenic Design, and Best Technical Production. Anna Beth McSpadden and Xander Argiro received an All-Star Cast award, and Zada Simpson was awarded Best Supporting Actor.

The students received 6 “excellent” scores and 16 “superior” scores, with 12 of the individual events being passed on to the state level.

Never Saw Another Butterfly is a one-act play based on a collection of drawings, poems, and diary entries by a group of children living in the Terezin Ghetto during the Holocaust. The actual words these children wrote are used as a story-telling device which truly allows the piece to transcend its theatricality and deeply penetrate the hearts and minds of those watching.

DeKalb County Fine Arts Theatre serves the students of all of DeKalb County Alabama high schools artistic and performance endeavors and is a part of the DeKalb County Technology Center in Rainsville.

According to, The Walter Trumbauer Festival has provided quality training and performance opportunities for Alabama theatre students at the high school level since 1940. The educational impact of this event is substantial. The festival consists of 30 individual events, a one act play festival, a studio theatre one act play festival—all for 9th through 12th grades, as well as scholarship auditions and college screening for high school seniors and junior college students. Students qualify for the state competition by earning a rating of “superior” at one of seven district festivals. At all levels of competition, students receive critiques from qualified teachers, professionals and theatre practitioners, allowing them to improve their theatrical skills. The state festival kicks off with the scholarship audition session on Thursday evening. High school seniors and junior college students compete for four $1000 ACT Scholarships. Friday and Saturday events culminate in an Awards Ceremony where trophies, plaques, medals, and other awards are presented to recognize outstanding work in technical categories and performance areas. Two one act productions are chosen to represent Alabama at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in the spring.

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