The statewide winners of the 80th annual Maine Drama Festival were named Saturday night at the Class A finals held at Camden Hills Regional High School and at the Class B finals, held at Rockland High School. Seventeen schools each performed a one-act play in a two-day festival that occurred Friday night and all day and evening Saturday.
For Class A, which designates schools with established drama programs and/or school size of more than 550 students, Gorham High School was awarded first place with its production of “The Elephant Graveyard.” The play, telling the true story of a circus animal in the early 20th century that was publicly hanged for killing its handler, netted the school special commendations in stage management, set design, ensemble acting and overall technical excellence. All-festival cast awards were given to four students.
Class B top honors were given to Yarmouth High School for their performance of “The Elephant Man,” the story of the legendarily deformed John Merrick. They were awarded four all-festival cast designations, as well as special commendations for overall technical excellence and outstanding ensemble.
Second and third runners-up for Class A were Lincoln Academy and Falmouth High School. Second and third runners-up for Class B were Rockland High School and Hermon High School, who performed “Sideways Stories From Wayside School” and “Fishing,” respectively. Additionally, George Stevens Academy senior Martin Conte of Blue Hill, who wrote his school’s play, “Parlous State,” was recognized for his playwriting.
The regional drama festivals were held over the weekend of March 11-12 and narrowed a field of 77 schools down to nine for Class A and eight for Class B. More than 2,000 students compete each year in the program, sponsored by the Maine Principals’ Association.