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CarverHOUSTON- Carver High School theater students are advancing to the District UIL Contest after advancing from UIL One-Act Play Zone A Contest recently held. The students performed Porgy, the play adaptation of the Gershwin musical Porgy and Bess.

“I am so proud of the students,” said Roshunda Jones, theater director at the campus. “They did an awesome job performing Porgy. I also thank everyone for all their support in helping the theater program and the students succeed.”

Listed below are the awards received:

Porgy and Archdale played by Isaiah Rusk and Nicco Martínez.

Zone Competition Results

Advancing Play — Porgy

*Best Actor — Isaiah Rusk

All-Star Cast Medal — Darlesia Carter

All-Star Cast Medal — Raegan Robinson

All-Star Cast Medal — Nyles Washington

Honorable Mention Medal — Kristopher Adams

Best Technical — Dionna Malone

(*Only one school receives this honor)

The one-act play company is comprised of Jones and Jabari Collins, technical director, along with students Isaiah Rusk, Nyles Washington, Duncan Lester, Nicco Martínez, Joseph Arriaga, Kristopher Adams, Malcolm Thomas, Joshua Austin, Raegan Robinson, Darlesia Carter, Shola Ojesina, Kiera Prusmack, Brianna Rodríguez, Kyle Ward, Cameron Moore, Treat Carrier, Calep Smith, Kassidy Fajardo, Dionna Malone, Mykaelan Flournoy, Kevin Crear, India Sherman and Jayla Rhodes.

History of Porgy

Porgy and Bess began its journey to the Broadway stage in 1936, when George Gershwin wrote a letter late one night to the author of a book he was reading proposing that the two of them collaborate on an operatic adaptation.

The African-American poet DuBose Heyward, author of the novel Porgy, immediately agreed to Gershwin’s proposal, but commercial commitments in New York prevented Gershwin from actually beginning work on the project for another seven years.

In the meantime, singer Al Jolson attempted to mount a musical version of Porgy starring himself in blackface, but that effort foundered in 1932, leaving the way open for the Gershwin-Heyward collaboration that would feature an all-African American cast of classically trained singers—revolutionary casting in 1930s America.

DuBose Heyward and the two Gershwins—George’s brother, Ira, joined on as co-lyricist in 1934—collaborated mostly by U.S. Mail, with only occasional face-to-face meetings.

In this fashion, they nevertheless managed to create some of the greatest songs in American musical-theater history, including “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “Bess, You Is My Woman Now.” The critics of the day were decidedly mixed in their reception of Porgy and Bess.

It was revived in 1976 by the Houston Grand Opera and that helped establish its current place in the standard operatic repertoire.

George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward died in 1937 and 1940, respectively, not knowing that the poorly-received Porgy and Bess, which premiered on this day in 1925 and closed some four months later, would later gain recognition as one of the most important American musical works of the 20th century.