Aynne Ames, artistic director of the Belfast Maskers, has been selected by the Maine Principal’s Association’s Department of Drama to be a judge at the Maine State Drama Festival’s Class B state finals March 19 and 20 at Yarmouth High School.

With the exception of 1943, when World War II forced a cancellation, the Maine Drama Festival has continued uninterrupted for more than 50 years. The State Finals are the culmination of weeks-long competitions where high schools from all over the state compete at regional festivals and the winners of those festivals compete in the state finals. The annual competition involves nearly 80 schools and more than 2000 students each year.

The winners of the Class A (schools with more than 550 students) and Class B (smaller schools) divisions have the opportunity to travel to the New England Festival in April, to be held in Maine this year at Falmouth High School. The Class A finals will be held at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport.

Ames has a long history with the drama festival, having been its president in the 1980s and serving as a state judge in 2006. A longtime drama teacher in Maine, New York and Athens, Greece, for the past six years she has been the artistic director of the Belfast Maskers.

Regional festival lineup

Regional festivals will take place Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6. With the exception of Mt. View’s Class B troupe, which will compete at Skowhegan High School, all the Midcoast schools will be at a mixed-class regional at Rockland District High School. Belfast Area High School, Waldoboro’s Medomak Valley High School and Camden Hills will compete in Class A; and Searsport District High School, Georges Valley High School, North Haven Community School and Rockland will compete in Class B.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.