Red Oak Hawk Theatre has wowed audiences and advanced to the UIL 5A One-Act Play regional competition with the award-winning play, “The Secret in the Wings.”

The Red Oak students have already competed well in the district, bi-district and area competitions. The regional competition is April 17 in Prosper.

Written by Mary Zimmerman, “The Secret in the Wings” adapts a few of the lesser-known Grimm fairy tales and combines those magical tales and myths with a child’s mystique, innocence and humor all in one. It is truly a “tale within a tale” and tells the story of a child who is left by her selfish parents with a very peculiar and frightening babysitter.

As the babysitter reads each fairytale to the child, the stage magically comes alive in characters. Throughout the play, there is a central theme that questions, how can a person love that which is not always lovable in others and in ourselves?

Directed by Christopher Rogers, director of theatre at Red Oak High School, and associate director Lindsay Rigney, “The Secret in the Wings” has taken home 17 awards from UIL judges.

“The students have worked incredibly hard on this production," Rogers said. "Most of them play at least three separate characters, and each one requires a different accent and body language and costume. The way they manage to transform themselves is amazing.

"The technical aspects of the show are also pushing our technicians into the spotlight. The amount of set dressing and sound and lighting cues rivals a full-length show despite the show’s 38-minute runtime. It is nothing short of astounding what these kids are doing onstage. The associate director, Ms. Rigney, and I couldn’t be more proud!”

In all, 1,246 schools started competition in the UIL One Act Play contest this year across all conferences. Red Oak is one of the top 48 schools to advance to the 5A regional level.

In addition to competing at the regional, 11 outstanding Hawk theatre thespians won several awards over all three competitions and are moving on to regional competition on April 17.