Hannah Thweatt and Andrew Barrentine had the lead roles in Pell City High School’s recent production of “South Pacific,” roles that both student actors said presented them with new challenges.
Barrentine’s role: Emile deBecque, a French planter living on a South Seas island during World War II. “I had a lot of fun with it, although I’d never taken on a role this big before,” he said. “The other characters I’ve played in shows before have been more comedic. Emile is more serious, he’s very thoughtful, and it took some serious acting skills to play him. The French accent wasn’t easy, either.”
Thweatt’s character: Ensign Nellie Forbush. “She’s a nurse in the Navy,” Thweatt said. “She loves people, and she loves Emile de Becque. She was taught to be prejudiced, but she learns to love people for who they are, not the color of the skin. I’d never had a big lead role before, so it was a big challenge for me.”
What the two seniors enjoy most about theater: “There’s so much to love, really,” Barrentine said. “I enjoy the people I’m around because they’re people I wouldn’t otherwise interact with. If it weren’t for the people, theater wouldn’t be any fun.”
Thweatt’s answer was similar. “It’s the people. Theater people are so accepting of how you are. I can be cranky, I can love Jesus, whoever I am, and they accept me anyway.”
Their parents: Andrew is the son of Kyle and Jeanne Barrentine, and Hannah is the daughter of John and Kim Thweatt.