Posted by: Staff | 03.06.2008

Advanced Drama Play Advances to Semi-finals of Festival

DANIEL KATZ ’08 and JESSICA PENZIAS ’08

Come support the cast and crew in the semi-finals on March 15 at Marblehead Veterans’ Middle School at 9:30 am!

On Saturday March 1, the 22 members of the cast and crew of this year’s Advanced Drama play, “Episode in the Life of an Author,” arrived at Sharon High School to compete in the Massachusetts Guild High School Drama Festival. The troupe was initially worried that the overnight snowstorm would postpone the event, but the snow slowed down as the cast and crew loaded the bus. After two performances at school and weeks of late night rehearsals, the Advanced Drama Class felt prepared for an event many of them had patiently awaited for four years.

The High School Drama Festival is the Drama Guild’s largest event of the year, with over 100 schools competing from across the state. The festival is now in its seventh decade, and is open to every secondary school in Massachusettes. Sponsored by The Boston Globe and John Hancock Hall, the festival includes three levels: preliminary, semi-final and state finals. Individual awards are given out at each level, and two schools are chosen at the State Finals to represent the state at the New England Drama Festival.

Announced before each performance, the most important rules are as follows:

-No entry may exceed 40 minutes running time.
-A school is given 5 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to strike
-The director, cast, and crew must attend all levels of Festival in which they participate.

Beaver has a tradition of competing in the festival, and has done quite well in the past under the direction of Jen Yolles. Seven plays have made it to the semi-finals, and one play, “Volpone,” moved onto the state finals in 2004. Next time you walk from the main building to the lobby of the arts building, look at the wall to your left and notice the plaques from past festivals. In a school that sometimes lacks competitive success, the Drama Festival is often full of refreshing victories.

This year’s preliminary round was, once again, quite successful. After a strong performance at Sharon High School, Beaver was one of three schools from the site who moved onto the semi-finals. Beaver, Sharon High School, and Cambridge Rindge & Latin beat out five other schools for the three coveted spots. At the award ceremony, Beaver also picked up nine individual awards. Hannah Hutton, Dan Katz, Chi-Chi Ibili, and Vivek Pai received acting awards. Tech awards went to Micah Telegen for stage-managing, Nat Harrington for sound production, and Jeremy Karpf, Evan Leventhal, and Emily Salfity for on-stage technical work. The semi-finals will occur on March 15 at Marblehead Veterans’ Middle School at 9:30 am.

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The schedule of plays for the Semi Finals are as follows:

Host: Marblehead Veterans’ Middle School,217 Pleasant Street, Marblehead

9:30 am Beaver Country Day School- Episode in the Life of an Author
10:30 am Cohasset Middle/ High School- A Whole New You
12:30 am Leominster High School- Wind in the Willows
1:30 pm Westford Academy- Dancing at Lughnasa
3:00 pm St. John’s Preparatory School- The Odyssey
4:00 pm Saugus High School- Servant of Two Masters
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