High school thespians compete this weekend

Posted:  Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 5:00pm

Story Location:
320 Manktown Road
Waldoboro  Maine  04572
United States

It’s the weekend of the Maine Regional Drama Festival! Thespians from Maine’s high schools will compete at one of two locations – Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro or Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport. Our local schools – Boothbay Region High School (BRHS), Wiscasset Middle High School (WMHS) and Lincoln Academy (LA) – perform in Waldoboro either Friday, March 9 or Saturday, March 10. Medomak Valley High is located at 320 Manktown Road.

Boothbay Region High School will present selections from the “Spoon River Anthology” by Edward Lee Masters. First published in 1915, it contains about 250 monologues by the deceased fictional people of  Spoon River, Illinois. Set in the Spoon River Cemetery. “Each postmortem poem in the collection is titled with the name of the citizen who reveals some truth about their daily existence in Spoon River.” –  The Humanities Magazine (of the National Endowment for the Humanities) 

Director Mary Miller says, “I have adapted it to feature a weaving of individuals, and family members – with bits of group comment here and there – to make it short enough and provide continuity. We’re not modernizing it, but changing it so it will read more like a play rather than individual monologues.”

There are 25 students in the ensemble piece who will take center stage at 1 p.m. Saturday. Costumer Paulette Carter also assisted Miller with the directing; and Caitlin Shepherd is overseeing the set. Lighting director: Chris Holmes, with Kate Norton as our Alumni Assistant.  

Wiscasset Middle High School drama students have also been hard at work on their piece, “Three Tables” by Dan Remmes. This cast offered a public preview of the one act March 1 in the school gym – to rave reviews. Take Shalimar Poulin Chasse, art teacher at WMHS, who has seen all theatrical previews and shows at the school for the past six years who observed, “This was the best preview I’ve seen  by far. The seniors in the cast have grown immensely as actors over the past four years.”

The play centers around three couples in various stages of a relationship. It features Leah Potter, Caleb Gabriele,  Sarah Foley, Matt Chapman, Ayanna Main,  Kobe Carrier, Josh Dualan, Maize Hagerman, Olivia Peaslee, Megan Syrjala, Savannah Roberts and Vanessa Dunn. The rest of the technical staff includes sophomore Kaydin Nichols (stage manager); senior Ryan Medina and freshman Gwen Webber (lights); and the set has been designed and constructed by the WMHS Tech Theatre Design class. 

It’s directed by WMHS’s drama teacher of 10 years, Jean Phillips. She says the cast has really embraced their characters, “... even if they didn’t like them. This ensemble piece has required work on comedic timing and I think they’ve done well.”

Meanwhile over at Lincoln Academy, seven-time winners, drama and film students have been preparing to present an adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Blood Wedding.” Director Griff Braley says the kids are doing a great job. This group is scheduled for 3 p.m. March 10.

“We’re excited to perform. Lots of flamenco music and dance, poetry, and deep colors!” Braley said, adding, “Juanito Pascual, Tupac Mantilla and Barbara Martinez visited to give workshops this winter.”

In a nutshell, “Blood Wedding” was inspired by a newspaper article about a groom’s cousin who ran off with the bride of an enemy family – the price: his life. Lorca used many facts from the case in the play.

The cast is composed of Kayleigh Tolley, Jonah Daiute, Hannah Davis, Aubree Cookson, Akiko Montanaro, Nicholas Miaoulis, Ryan Kohnert, Rachael Schuster, May Halm, Camden LeBel, Honora Boothby, Ava Carmolli, Emily Harris, John Henry Eddy Blouin, Ethan Jones, Aidan Stapp, Emmie Ferrill, Ryan Kohnert, Scott Petersen and Tommy Thelander.

“The show is pretty darn good,” Braley said. “A huge challenge, and in 35-minute form it really sort of packs a wallop!”

Following the presentation of all entries, an awards ceremony will be held. Outstanding work by schools and individuals in each cast will be noted. The winners of the Class A and Class B (enrollment of up to 499 or less) competitors will be presented with trophies and prepare to go on to the state festival competition. 

At the regionals, the winner and runner-up in each class will receive trophies. At the state festival, the winner and runner-up will receive plaques. Students will be recognized at the end of the festival; however, certificates will be emailed to individual schools.

Break a leg and good show, all!