Midcoast schools win kudos at drama finals
Seven Maine high schools brought their regional-winning one-act plays to the Maine Drama Festival Class A State Finals Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22, at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport. Due to the relatively few number of entrants, the competition was accomplished with two rather than three performance sessions, making for a well-before-midnight awards ceremony.
When the greasepaint had been cleared away, Gorham High School was declared the state champion. Falmouth came in second and Oceanside, although tied points-wise with Falmouth, came in third place in the judges' ranking. In 2012, a new scoring system was put in place to ensure a more equitable outcome in cases where the raw scores end up in ties; an explanation of the new procedure is posted on the Maine Drama Council website.
Oceanside was the only local school in the Class A Finals mix, although Camden Hills had quite the “production” of its own to pull off as host. The Class A State Finals were hosted by Jane Self with technical director Tom Heath, leading a crew of Camden Hills techies including Chase Winn, Ryan Shields, Thatcher Chamberlain, Aiden Lammert, Trevor Fowles and Hannah Corney. Violet Bemis and Meg Dowd ran the box office, and the Wave Café staff kept everyone fed under the direction of Susan Boivin. MPA Drama Committee Rep was Wendy Harvey of Leavitt Area High School and Maine Drama Council Rep was Ryan Nored of Erskine Academy.
Judges for the Class A State Finals were Pam Chabora, Sandra Cyrus and Denis Fontaine. The Class A state finals ranking is: 1) Gorham; 2) Falmouth; 3) Oceanside; 4) Windham; 4) Bangor; and 6) Scarborough and Skowhegan, tied. As Gorham is unable to attend the New England Drama Festival next month, Falmouth will go.
In addition to ranking the schools, judges awarded special commendations and nominated students to the All Festival Cast. Oceanside’s “The Neverending Story” received Judges' Commendations for Outstanding Sound Effects/Percussionists and Oracles; Lighting Design and Operation; and Scenic Design. Named to the All Festival Cast were Payton Billingsley, Cole Chase and Kaleb Robinson.
Class B (schools with 524 or fewer students) held its state final at Yarmouth High School; Mount View High School of Thorndike made the trek with its student-written and -directed “The Belfry.” Ten schools contended in the three-session Class B finals, which ran late into the night. The Class B state finals ranking is: 1) Yarmouth; 2) Oak Hill; 3) Lisbon; 4) Freeport; 5) three-way tie of Orono, Mount View and Stearns; 8) Mount Desert; 9) Fort Kent; and 10) Madison.
Mount View’s “The Belfry” received Judges' Commendations for Outstanding Costumes and Hair, Skye Siladi; and both Outstanding Original Script and Outstanding Directing for senior Cay Outerbridge. Named to the All Festival Cast were Nicholas Troutman and Caleb Larrabee.
“We had a great time, too!” said drama advisor Angela Nason.
All the results from both state finals of the 83rd annual Maine Drama Festival are posted on the Maine Drama Council website. Eighty schools competed in the regionals March 7 and 8 with 17 schools advancing to the two finals. More than 3000 students participate in the annual event. The non-competitive New England Drama Festival will take place in April at Vermont’s St. Johnsbury Academy; last year, Oceanside came in second but ended up at New England because first-place Bangor did not make the trip.
Local photographer Marti Stone wrote and photographed the weekend; to see her blog, visit martistonephotography.zenfolio.com/blog.
A&E editor for Courier Publications, LLC
(207) 594-4401/4407, ext. 115
Dagney has been providing Courier coverage of the local arts scene since 1985 and has helmed the multi-paper A&E section since it debuted in 2003. She has been a local performing artist, community and professional, for almost 30 years and spent a decade writing, producing and announcing on-air for several Midcoast radio stations. When not in the NewsNest, Dagney likes to be in motion.