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Ellsworth, Hermon, MDI, Fort Kent, Corinth among teams advancing to Class A, B state drama finals

Kate Collins | BDN
Kate Collins | BDN
Calais High School's Nick Smith (from left), Christian Glidewell and Nicholas Sluzenski perform the one-act play "Joey-Boy" at Ellsworth High School on Saturday, March 12, 2011. The performance was part of the annual Maine Drama Festival, which featured one-act plays staged by students at 77 schools.
By Emily Burnham, BDN Staff

Two days of performances from some of Maine’s most talented high school actors at the annual Maine Drama Festival ended Saturday night with the selection of 17 schools that will go on to the Class A and B state finals.

At the regional semifinals for the one-act play competition held at nine different schools across the state, winners were picked by panels of judges who decided based on body-gesture, voice, character, individual performance and ensemble. Class A winners will compete at the state level at Camden Hills Regional High School, and Class B winners will compete at Rockland High School, both on March 25 and 26.

At the Ellsworth High School regionals, Ellsworth High School was named the Class A winner with its production of “The Lark,” a play by Jean Anouilh, detailing the life of Joan of Arc. Class B winners were Hermon High School, which also won the state-level Class B title last year. They won for a play called “Fishing,” written by Jeff Hoffman.

At Mount Desert Island High School, MDI High School won the Class A title with its staging of “The Children of Drancy,” a “montage of voices” about a French concentration camp during World War II. First place for Class B was given to Georges Stevens Academy in Blue Hill for “Parlous State,” a one-act play written by GSA senior Martin Conte.

In Aroostook County, the regional festival was held at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where hometown heroes Fort Kent Community High School took Class B honors with their play, “Boom Box.” The play was written by Fort Kent drama coach Doug Clapp and details the devastating aftereffects of teen suicide.

Skowhegan Area High School hosted a regional festival, and judges awarded Lincoln Academy in Newcastle the Class A prize for its production of “Runtime,” written by drama coach Griff Braley. The Class B regional title was awarded to Central High School students in Corinth, who staged a play titled “The Absolutely Insidious and Utterly Terrifying Truth About Cat Hair,” a wacky tale of sentient cat hairs trying to take over the world.

Winthrop High School’s regional festival crowned two winners. For Class A, Mount Ararat High School in Topsham won with “My Client Curley,” a comedy about a 1940s talent agent who tries to capitalize on the discovery of a dancing caterpillar. Class B first place went to Rockland High School, which picked up its 15th regional title in 17 years with “Sideways Stories From Wayside School,” an adaptation of Louis Sachar’s young adult novels.

Other winners included Class A champions Falmouth High School, Gorham High School, Westbrook High School and Massabesic High School. Other Class B winners were Freeport High School, Oak Hill High School, Yarmouth High School and Catherine McAuley High School. There were also a number of additional awards given out, including awards for All Festival Cast, Best Ensemble Performance and Lighting, Costume, Set and Makeup design.

For information about the state level drama festivals, set for March 25 and 26 in Camden and Rockland, visit http://www.fivetowns.net/subsites/StromAud/MDC/index.htm.

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