BURLINGTON — Burlington High School’s one-act play cast and crew are preparing to go to state this week, and this year it means more than the average year.

On the back wall of the the high school’s one-act play set are three numbers: 15, 18 and 18.

Those are the graduating years for three Burlington High School students who died Memorial Day weekend in a Walworth County crash.

The students were Jason Davis, 17; Landen Brown, 20, and Hunter Morby, 17.

All three were involved in theater productions. Brown was part of a number of one-act plays when he was in high school; Davis was part of the band and community programs; and Hunter was in a show — “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — the week before he died and would have been a part of this one-act play.

That accident, which happened right at the end of the school year, shocked the entire community.

Following those tragic deaths, the students participating in this year’s one-act play — totaling 45 between the cast and crew — knew they wanted to do something to remember their classmates.

In baseball, often numbers are retired after someone has completed a successful career. The students wanted to do something similar and after they chose a baseball-themed play, they decided to formally retire the students’ numbers as part of the play set.

With those three numbers painted in baseballs on the set, “Now we feel like we have retired their numbers just like Major League Baseball does and now we have them with us every time we take the field,” said Carrie Fidler, a Burlington High School English teacher who also oversees the one-act play.

The play

This year’s play, which earned the students a trip to the state competition this Friday, is about a Little League Baseball team’s struggles throughout the year. They start out losing a lot but end up winning the entire series.

One character in particular who goes through struggles is Kenny, who is known as a klutz and doesn’t believe in himself.

He keeps screwing up. But in the end, he makes the winning catch, said Zachary Schmidt, 17, who plays Kenny in the play titled “The Baseball Show” by Cynthia Mercati.

The play symbolizes how it’s important to act as a team and how everyone brings their own talent to the group, Fidler said.

Even though Davis, Brown and Morby are no longer alive, they still are considered part of the team, at least in spirit.

“Each of them has had their own kind of impact — not only on the school, but all of our lives,” said Eli Trapp, 17, who is part of the one-act play. “(It’s nice) to be able to honor them in this sense that they haven’t necessarily left, but have moved on to the bigger and better.”

Jessica Smith, who has participated in the one-act play all four years of her high school career, agreed.

“I think it’s nice that we keep them on the stage with us,” Smith said. “It brings back this feeling they are still here with us, despite the fact they are not here physically.”

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Managing Editor

Stephanie Jones is the managing editor for The Journal Times. She was previously the city reporter, government reporter, and police reporter. She grew up north of Green Bay and enjoys spending time in the community with her family.

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