Hometown all-star: Harlingen South junior in the big leagues

Esmeralda Trevino, 17, a junior at Harlingen High School South, gave a powerful performance as the mother in Harlingen South’s presentation of “Anatomy of Gray” at the UIL High School One-Act Play State Meet recently and was named an all-star cast member. (Courtesy photo)

HARLINGEN — She’s an all-star, and now everybody knows it.

When Esmeralda Trevino delivered her stellar performance as Rebekah Muldoon at the UIL High School One-Act Play State Meet, everyone took notice. So powerful was her performance as the mother in Harlingen High School South’s presentation of “Anatomy of Gray” she was named an all-star cast.

She was stunned.

“I was just very grateful in the moment,” said Esmeralda, 17, a junior at Harlingen South. The school presented the play “Anatomy of Gray” in which she played the mother, Rebekah. The cast and crew took their act all the way to the state level in Dallas April 30 – May 1.

“It wasn’t anything I was expecting,” she said. “Getting recognized especially at that level with as many actors and actresses that I was up against…I’m just extremely grateful for the opportunity to perform at that level and get recognized for it.”

Success seems to be following the Harlingen South junior everywhere these days. Earlier this year she was named a top performer by the Texas Forensics Association for her speaking ability. In February she was named as one of 25 finalists in February in the Joci Awards, the premier scholarship program of the Las Casas Foundation based in San Antonio. The Las Casas Foundation is dedicated to the development of the performing arts through education and scholarships.

It’s not surprising, really, that Esmeralda’s presentation was so powerful. She performed a monologue of a Mexican American woman concerned about her place in the business world.

“I did a monologue in the character of Lucia from ‘Fade’ by Tanya Saracho,” Esmeralda said. “She’s a Mexican-American playwright who does shows meant for Mexican-American actors and actresses.”

Esmeralda exhibited a fondness and familiarity for Saracho’s work, explaining that the playwright tells the stories of Latinos facing contemporary challenges.

“In the monologue, she talks about the battle of being known as the diversity mark in big corporations,” Esmeralda said. “It’s just her talking about how she’s done just being looked at as the diversity check and she wants to be seen as a person. That’s something that I relate to very closely.”

Her monologue and the performances of the other finalists were presented May 16, at which time she learned she had been awarded a $4,000 scholarship by the Joci Awards.

“I felt like I was on Cloud 9 to be honest,” she said. “College was always something that, obviously it’s the end goal but the cost of college is just absolutely insane. So having at least a starting point, it made the dream seem a little bit more achievable and attainable.”

She plans to use that money after she graduates from high school next year to study theater at Texas State University in San Marcos.

And then?

“I would love to go into film,” she said. “That’s my dream goal. But also taking time in doing shows in New York. I just would love to do stage and film at any point in my life but definitely continuing with theater and acting.”