More than 1,500 students at 78 high schools all across Maine are preparing for the 88th annual Maine Drama Festival. Schools will present plays ranging Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9, at nine regional competitions from Saco to Caribou — including the Midcoast Regional at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro. Schools compete in two classes: Class A (500 students or more) and Class B (fewer than 500 students).

At each of the regional competitions, a panel of three judges will decide which performances advance to the State Finals, to be held Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23. The Class A finals will be held in the Strom Auditorium of Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport; and the Class B finals will be held at Ellsworth High School. The schools with the outstanding performance at each state final will be invited to perform at the New England Drama Festival, held this year in Cranston, R.I., April 15 through 17.

The performance schedule for each of the regional sites is available on the Maine Drama Festival’s Facebook page.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.