Carbonear Collegiate takes top award
Judges smitten with student performances at Western Regional drama festival
The play performed by senior high students from Carbonear Collegiate, took the top award at the 2008-09 Western Regional Drama Festival.
The event, Find a Passion and Make it Work, ran from April 24 and showcased the best in acting from hundreds of students from 12 schools in the area. (Laval High, Placentia; Carbonear Collegiate, Amalgamated Academy, Bay Roberts; Crescent Collegiate, Blaketown; Ascension Collegiate, Bay Roberts; St. Francis, Harbour Grace; St. Anne’s Academy, Dunville; St. Edward’s Elementary, Placentia; Roncalli High, Avondale; Baccalieu Collegiate, Old Perlican; Persalvic Elementary, Victoria and Holy Redeemer Elementary, Spaniard’s Bay.
Eastern School District organized the festival in partnership with the College of the North Atlantic and the Northern Avalon Tourism Association.
Berni Stapleton and Amy House, adjudicators for the event, were impressed with the level of talent demonstrated by the students as well as the amount of work that went into each performance.
“Theatre in school has come a long way over the past few years. In both areas of acting and directing,” said House.“Kids are much more informed and so well versed on the issues in society today. There’s no doubt the worldwide web plays a part in that. They’re finding issues relevant to their lives, that they can relate to, and then taking them to the stage and doing an exceptional job in acting them out.”
According to House and Stapleton the quality of the scripts has improved tremendously as well.
“Students are also becoming more creative playwrights and are putting more of their own ideas into theatre and acting,” said Stapleton.
“The dramas and the quality of acting we’ve seen here at this festival are as good as anywhere.”
Carbonear Collegiate student Jessica McCarthy is among the young playwrights in this province. Jessica wrote the script for the winning play Smitten.
“It was just a fabulous play,” the adjudicators agreed.“It dealt with a lot of issues facing students today and brought across a message. Theatre does that you know, it provides an outlet for various issues and concerns.”
Jessica’s creativity earned her the Best Original Script Award. Carbonear Collegiate also took home the award for Best Use of Light. The envelope please!
Other awards handed out to senior high drama students during the awards ceremony Saturday night included: Best Actress to Acacia Puddister of Baccalieu Collegiate for her role in the play From the Lips of our People and Best Actor Award to Kyle White, also of Baccalieu Collegiate. The Old Perlican school also won the award for Best Backstage Crew in a Theatrical Production.
Meanwhile Crescent Collegiate students Amber-Lyn Thorne and Simon Bonisteel received the awards for Best Actress and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for their performance in the play Tick Tock.
Best Costume Award and Best Set Design went to Roncalli High for their play All that Twitters is not Gold while Laval High’s play One Hundred Lies earned them the Best Use of Sound and Best Ensemble in a Theatrical Production Awards.
The adjudicators Award went to Ascension Collegiate for their play The Popular Guy.
The extra hours during lunch and after school, which teacher coaches put into fine tuning the talents of their students into confident stage performers was also acknowledged.
John Way, senior education officer for the Western Region of the Eastern School District said: “Everyone was really impressed by the calibre of talent. This festival shows the Fine Arts program is alive and well in this region,” he added.
Way also recognized the partnership of Eastern School District, College of the North Atlantic and the Northern Avalon Tourism Association.
“An event such as this was possible due to the cooperation of many people and groups,” said Way.“As a result students not only get to enjoy and learn from the plays presented, but they also receive extra training and tips from people working within var-