Sterling performs ‘CODA’ in group interpretation state prelims

Israel Grande stands forward as the prow of a fishing ship as the remainder of the cast portrays waves breaking against the hull in the opening scene of "CODA" during a performance on Wednesday at Centennial Auditorium.

Sterling High School’s group interpretation cast competed Friday morning at Oak Lawn Community High School, but did not advance to the state drama finals conducted by the Illinois High School Association.

Sterling’s group interpretation was an adaptation of “CODA,” a film by Sian Heder about the child of deaf parents who finds her own identity by joining a choir.

Jenica Francis portrays Ruby in the Sterling High School group interpretation production of "CODA" on Wednesday at Centennial Auditorium.
Anna Hutchinson portrays Bernadetta, the choir director, imploring Jenica Francis' Ruby to sing from the diaphragm on Wednesday at Centennial Auditorium. Sterling High School's production of "CODA" was a state qualifier in dramatic group interpretation.

Jenica Francis plays Ruby, Logan Moreno is Frank, Samantha Feather is Jackie, Owen Gaffey is Leo, Henry Oberg is Miles and Anna Hutchinson portrays Bernadetta. The rest of the ensemble includes Sophie Shaw, Emma Stroup, Kaidence Stroup, Kyle Hutchison, Israel Grande, and Michelle Henderson. Brinley Francis is on sound.

The production was directed by Tim Schlegel and Weston Henry.

“CODA” qualified for state by winning its own sectional on March 19. On Wednesday, the cast gave a public performance at the school’s Centennial Auditorium.

Huntley’s “High Fidelity,” which placed third at the Sterling sectional, did advance to the finals. The other schools that reached Saturday’s competition was Joliet West, Southland College Prep, Oaklawn Community, Thornton Fractional North, Harvey Thornton and Burbank Reavis.

Burbank Reavis won the state title with its presentation of “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.”

Samantha Feather is Jackie, Owen Gaffey is Leo and Logan Moreno is Frank, who deliver their lines augmented by American Sign Language during a production of "CODA" at Sterling High School's Centennial Auditorium on Wednesday.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.