Verdin shooting for the stars

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2001


HAHNVILLE – You can generally spot a “star.” She’s the person with that extra measure of charisma, that sparkle, that drive which tells you they are destined for great things. Georgette Verdin, 17, is destined for great things in the theatre. Part of the talented drama class at Hahnville High School, the vivacious Hahnville junior was part of the cast which received a first-place overall and a superior rating at the district drama rally, held Feb. 3 at Nicholls State University. At the same event she was singled out as Best Actress. Georgette said the event called upon the group to perform in a 20-minute play. The cast was named to the district All-Star Cast (to perform at LSU on April 21), and fellow cast-member Adrian Strickland earned the Best Supporting Actor honor. Georgette’s first real exposure to theatre came while attending Eual J. Landry Sr. Middle School, where she saw a one-act play written by the drama teacher, Susan Chenet, and said to herself, “Wow, that’s really cool!” Her mother, Georgette added, thought it was a passing phase, one which would quickly fade. Rather, the fascination with bringing the written word to life locked into Georgette’s young soul and found a lifetime home. “Now, she’s really supportive,” the actress said. Mrs. Chenet saw something in Georgette as well. “It’s her smile and something in her eyes,” she commented. The eyes and smile definitely command attention, even in a brief interview. She loves to talk about theatre and eagerly soaks up all the knowledge she can about it. After screening, Georgette moved to the talented drama class, and when she moved on to Hahnville High, so did Chenet. They’ve been together now for five years. She also recently began taking classes at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, in subjects such as movement and voice. Other work examines the Greek classics and improvisation, exposure to Shakespeare and theatre in the round. Georgette is still undecided as to college, considering everything from McNeese State University to the Julliard School of the Performing Arts in New York. “I know I’ll be majoring in theatre,” she said. Movies and television don’t really lure her, as Georgette says she loves to “connect with an audience.” She added, “I want to tell a story and portray the character the best way I can. It’s not about you, it goes beyond that.” “I credit so much to the way she teaches,” Georgette said of Chenet, adding she teaches how to bring a character to life. “Through rehearsals, we have these revelations about our characters.” Chenet commented further of her star pupil, “She works at it. She has a lot of introspection. She has that charisma and that dedication that drives the ensemble.” Georgette concluded that when she receives that Tony Award as part of her destiny, she promises to have Chenet there and to give her the credit.