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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Character looks to voice opinion in South African play

Brittney Moore, a SE Campus student, stars as Veronica in the production of Valley Song at Pantagleize Theatre in East Fort Worth. The theater was founded by Violet O’Valle, a former TCC professor.  Photo courtesy Naomi Vaughan
Brittney Moore, a SE Campus student, stars as Veronica in the production of Valley Song at Pantagleize Theatre in East Fort Worth. The theater was founded by Violet O’Valle, a former TCC professor. Photo courtesy Naomi Vaughan

By Katie B. Martinez/reporter

Brittney Moore, a SE Campus student, stars as Veronica in the production of Valley Song at Pantagleize Theatre in East Fort Worth. The theater was founded by Violet O’Valle, a former TCC professor.  Photo courtesy Naomi Vaughan
Brittney Moore, a SE Campus student, stars as Veronica in the production of Valley Song at Pantagleize Theatre in East Fort Worth. The theater was founded by Violet O’Valle, a former TCC professor. Photo courtesy Naomi Vaughan

A young woman is finding her voice through her performance in an off-campus production of a popular South African play.

Brittney Moore, a SE Campus student, is playing the lead in Valley Song this month at Pantagleize Theatre in East Fort Worth.

The play, written by Athol Fugard, centers around three characters living in a rural valley in South Africa.

With a musical flair, the play brings the audience into the life of Veronica, played by Moore.

Veronica has a beautiful voice and aspires to escape her “boring” life as a farmer’s granddaughter and become a famous singer, much to her grandfather’s dismay.

This is the first major production for Moore, who got her start performing with The Potter’s House church in South Dallas.

The pre-law major wants to perform one day with the Royal Shakespeare Company in England.

“ I fell in love with Shakespeare in high school,” she said.

“ There is just something about his work that could never be duplicated.”

Moore works hard at school, participates in church activities and pursues her passion to perform.

She hopes her experience could motivate others to believe in themselves.

“ I was so nervous about auditioning for this part,” she said.

“ I almost didn’t go, but something was pushing me—telling me I could do it,” the actress said. “I got the part, and it’s such a wonderful feeling when you follow your heart.”

Moore brings the character to life, filling the theater with her enthusiasm and charm, her co-actors say.
It is the true-to-life personalities in Fugard’s plays that have made him famous in his own country and won him awards in the United States and abroad.

One character, a white South African land owner, played by Robin Bailey, is loosely based on the author.

The character, a 60-year-old playwright, seemingly longs for something more meaningful from life.

As he admires Veronica’s determination, he also comes to reconsider his own goals.

Darrell Primous, who plays Veronica’s grandfather, teaches history and coaches football at Meadowbrook Middle School. This is the second play he has done at Pantagleize.

All three actors are fairly new to acting, and the play is one that audiences are not likely to see elsewhere.

“ I think it is very interesting,” Moore said.

“ It’s not just your typical predictable play.”

Violet O’Valle, Pantagleize Theatre founder and director, tries to ensure each play the group produces is different and meaningful.

“ We choose international playwrights and productions that most Americans wouldn’t normally have had a chance to see,” she said.

O’Valle founded the theater company with her husband after she retired from TCC several years ago.

She taught English before being named humanities division chair on SE Campus.

Many of the actors at her theater come from TCC, referred by friends and former colleagues.

O’Valle explained that a referral was precisely the way she came to meet Brittney Moore.

“ She was referred to me by the nurse on SE Campus,” she said.

“ It was so fortunate that I found her. She is a joy—gracious and extremely talented,” she said.

The play runs Thursday-Sunday through this weekend with a special performance Feb. 14.

The play, with one intermission, runs just under two hours. Thursday-Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinee is at 3 p.m.; and the Valentine’s performance is at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 Valentine’s night, $8 Thursday, $12 Friday-Sunday and $10 for seniors, students or groups of four and over. Dessert and drink are included.

Donations to the Pantagleize Theatre are tax deductible, for more information visit the Web site at www.pantatheatre.org.

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