Above: MCHS won several awards at the Zone Drama Festival over the weekend. – photos courtesy MCHS.
by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville Community High School’s Advanced Drama class had a successful weekend at the Zone Festival.
In their first festival competition, the school returned home with six awards and the distinction of being the most decorated school.
On Good Friday, the school showcased two theatrical pieces in Morinville: Digging Up the Boys, and Tracks. Both shows were taken to the festival this past weekend.
Digging Up the Boys earned an Honourable Mention for William Doney, Bryant Sandercock and Jaeden Piche through the Ensemble Acting Award. Outstanding Achievement in Acting went to Emily Berard, and Outstanding Achievement in Directing went to Daphne Charrois. The Best Visual Award, one of the top awards offered, also went to Daphne Charrois for Digging Up The Boys.
MCHS Drama Teacher Vanessa King told Morinville News that Digging Up the Boys was the most decorated show at the festival.
The second theatrical work, Tracks, took Outstanding Achievement in Acting for Amber St. Denis, and the top award – Outstanding Achievement in a Production.
As a festival winner, Tracks will be heading to Provincials in Red Deer May 9 to 11.
The process from deciding what play to do to becoming a festival winner was a long one. Once the Advanced Drama class had found the two plays they wanted to produce, they started the rehearsal process at the beginning of March.
“We used our class time to rehearse, and each cast chose a day to have an extended rehearsal, roughly ten straight hours,” King explained, adding the hours flew by for the actors. “Additionally, each show needed to spend time creating their sets, costumes and props. Actors needed to flush out who their characters were, and directors needed to hone their vision for the shows.”
King said performing the shows for friends and family the Friday before the festival allowed for added feedback; valuable insight analyzed in the last class before the festival.
The weekend’s multiple wins and upcoming provincials run marks a success for the Advanced Drama program.
“This is the first time that MCHS has participated in the Zone II West Drama Festival since I have been at the school,” King said. “When I was asked to create an Advanced Drama class going to festival seemed like a really cool way of taking our current drama program up a level. We had gotten a taste of competitive drama through the Cappies program last year, so I was curious how MCHS would stack up in this new forum. We really didn’t know what to expect, and we certainly learned a lot this first time around, but I feel like the results really speak to the talent and commitment we have in our program.” Going to Festival, and now Provincials is a really exciting way for us to spread the word about our school and the calibre of our performing arts program. I certainly hope that future students see our success and get excited about joining the fun.”
With provincials a short time away, the school with be hosting a One Acts Showcase Night Sunday, May 5th to raise some funds to get Tracks to provincials May 9.
Admission is $10 per ticket and will give attendees an evening of entertainment on the MCHS Drama Stage. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show taking place at 7:30 p.m.
“This will include the final performance of Digging Up The Boys, the most decorated show at Festival, and a send-off performance of Tracks before they hit the stage in Red Deer,” King said. “We’ve invited some incredible singers to perform throughout the evening, and our cast and crew will be selling homemade baked goods.”
Below are some additional photos from the festival.