The Midcoast regionals of the 2010 Maine Drama Festival concluded shortly before midnight March 6 in the Performing Arts Center of Rockland District High School. The school is located on Broadway and proved it with a weekend of stagecraft that tended to the lighthearted. When all the lines had been delivered, all the sets raised and struck and all the judge’s rankings tallied, Rockland’s Just Off Broadway Players and Mount Desert Island High School’s troupe were selected to move on to their respective state finals.

MDI won in Class A, the division for schools with 550 and more students; and Rockland won in Class B, the division for schools with fewer than 550 students. MDI’s entry, directed by Casey Rush, was “Sganarelle or The Imaginary Cuckold” by Molière. Rockland’s entry, directed by Alison Machaiek, was “Wiley and the Hairy Man” by Jack Stokes. Judges were Dominic Garvey, Karl Rogers and Megan Towle.

Alternates, which go to the finals should the winning schools be unable to, are Camden Hills Regional High School for Class A and George Stevens Academy for Class B. Camden’s entry, directed by Rick Ash, was “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling,” adapted from Henry Fielding’s novel by Charlotte Brown. George Stevens’ entry, directed by Moira McMahon, was “Interview” by Jean-Claude Van Italie.

Comprising the rest of the varied field at the Midcoast regionals were Thomaston’s Georges Valley High School, whose Showcase Theatre presented “My Client Curley” by Norman Corwin, directed by Camilla Gray; Waldoboro’s Medomak Valley High School, which presented “Cut!” by Ed Monk, directed by Steve Gleason; Searsport District High School, which presented “Slipping Him the Tongue” by Mark Aloysius Kenneally, directed by Chris Goosman; North Haven Community School, which offered the original “For the Love of Zooey” by A.G. Alexander, directed by Courtney Naliboff; and Belfast Area High School, which capped the festival with “Don’t Say Macbeth” by Burton Bumgarner, directed by Michael Lawson and Sonja Richardson.

Final ranking and scores in both classes are as follows. Class A: 1) MDI with a score of 272; 2) Camden Hills, with a score of 246; 3) MVHS, with a score of 228; and 4) BAHS, with a score of 180. Class B: 1) RDHS with a score of 300; 2) George Stevens Academy, with a score of 242; 3) SDHS, with a score of 186; 4) GVHS, with a score of 163; and 5) NHCS, with a score of 140.

Meanwhile, at the regional held at Skowhegan Area High School, Thorndike’s Mt. View High School was named the alternate in Class B with a score of 209. Mt. View’s one-act “Grounded” was written and directed by senior Jason Fine.

The winning schools will compete at the state finals Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20: Class A at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport; and Class B at Yarmouth High School.

Rockland’s regional ran smoothly compared to last year’s, when water threatened to flood the stage after one one-act and alcohol violations by one of the visiting schools sullied the pre-awards dance party. As always, there were highs and lows. Among the festival’s many high points was the fact that North Haven Community School, the smallest K-12 school in the state, presented a play specifically written for the festival by an alumnus with a cast and crew that added up to the entire high school student body. The low point arguably was that one of the judges was observed sleeping during two of the three play sessions.

Midcoast students named to the All Festival Cast were, from Rockland’s “Wiley and the Hairy Man,” the full cast cited for ensemble work; from Camden Hills’ “Tom Jones, a Foundling,” Alistair Phaup and Chelsea Ettinger; from Medomak Valley’s “Cut!”, Amber Massicotte, Alex Murphy, Johnny Trueman and the full cast for all ensemble work; from Georges Valley High School’s “My Client Curley,” Shane Lavoie, Ariana Wadsworth and Emma Vachon; and from North Haven’s “For the Love of Zooey,” Craig Waterman and Stephanie Brown.

Waldo County school students named to the All Festival Cast were, from Belfast’s “Don’t Say Macbeth,” Nathan Howard, Renna Smith, Cameron Grant and Tyler Johnson; for Searsport’s “Slipping Him the Tongue,” Nik Frazee; and, from Mt. View’s “Grounded,” Colby Hinson and Mert Danna.

Midcoast schools receiving Judges’ Commendations were: SDHS for set design (Nik Frazee, Lauralee Stairs, Jacob Buckin and Alex Webster) and sound (Alex Webster); Camden Hills for costume design (Anna Grigo) and costume and makeup (Anna Mason, Hannah Wells, Katie Pratt, Elizabeth Sherfy, Amelia Mank and Olivia Hamalainen); and RDHS for set design (Lincoln Spear and Keegan Ross), masks (Lindsey Davenport), costumes (Amy Proulx and Bridghe Curtin) and music ensemble (Kotaro Taniguchi, Cole Barbour, Connor Pfister, Gentry Burch, Emily Bragg, Connor Mills and Kyle Sareyani).

For more information, including results from all the regionals, visit fivetowns.net/subsites/StromAud/MDC/index.htm.

Rockland will raise funds for its trip to the finals with a Just Desserts buffet and encore performance Wednesday, March 17 at 7 p.m. at RDHS, 400 Broadway. Admission will be $7, $5 for students and senior citizens.

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