See these YouTube mystery shows by Rayburn High thespians


Instead of performing a play for a limited, live audience in the fall, Rayburn Renegade Theatre filmed three classic radio mysteries and posted them on its YouTube channel for all the world to see.

“We call them short films,” said Charles Hutchison, the head theater director at Sam Rayburn High School in Pasadena.

“They are not perfect in any way, but for our first time, I’m really pleased with them.”

“This is Rayburn Renegade Theatre’s answer to live performances during the 2020 Covid Pandemic,” the group posted on its YouTube channel. “Everything was filmed using safe social distancing guidelines.”

The project began as one short play, but so many students auditioned that directors Hutchison and fellow theater teacher Kevin George decided to film three radio plays.

George and Rayburn’s audio-video technology teacher Mahabub Alam spent several weeks working after school hours to edit the films.

Want to see them?

The three mysteries are “The Murder of Mrs. Brooks” (4:42), “The Thought” (20:35) and “The Shadow People” (22:56).

The stage manager for “The Murder of Mrs. Brooks” was Alejandro Lopes Jr.

Its cast included Sayra Gamino, Brandon Tuttle, Leslie Luna and Alejandra Ybarra.

The state manager for “The Thought” was Diego Bocanegra.

Its cast included Alexia Alvarado, Jackie Lawrence, Kassie Cantu, Jessica Rocha, Beatrice Vargas, Rebeca Aldaba-Ruiz, Elijah Shanta, Xitlali Cardenas, Amy Velazquez, d. Ross Ortiz, Roger Cruz, Alexis Garza, Gustavo Garcia, Syrena Bustamante, Geraldine Victor and Briani Plancarte-Saenz.

The stage manager for “The Shadow People” was Diana Alfaro.

Its cast included Daniella Soto, Edward White, Nayzetth Martinez, John Ramirez, Socorro Gutierrez, Mario Villarreal, Dagoberto Flores and Angel Mendoza.

Additional students served on the crew, which included running the camera, clapboard, teleprompter and sound.

Hutchison said the Rayburn thespians are preparing for a show to enter in the 2021 University Interscholastic League one-act play competition, which will begin after spring break.

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be reached at donmaines@att.net



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