UCDSB to host dis­trict drama fes­ti­val

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

The Up­per Canada Dis­trict School Board has been se­lected to host the 2017 Sears Se­away Dis­trict Drama Fes­ti­val from April 4-8 at St. Lawrence Sec­ondary School (SLSS) in Corn­wall.

This yearly event brings to­gether high school drama teams from across Stor­mont, Dun­das, Glen­garry, and Prescott-Rus­sell to show­case their skills and abil­i­ties while mak­ing life­long con­nec­tions with like-minded stu­dents across the re­gion.

SLSS teacher and Co-con­vener Al Mer­izzi notes that the fes­ti­val al­lows stu­dents to par­tic­i­pate in a pro­fes­sion­ally ad­ju­di­cated event, while de­vel­op­ing skills use­ful in work and in life. Stu­dents per­form one-act plays up to 50 min­utes long, with three dif­fer­ent plays fea­tured each night. Plays are pre­sented be­fore a pub­lic au­di­ence, and then pro­fes­sion­ally ad­ju­di­cated. Cer­tifi­cates of merit and awards of ex­cel­lence are con­ferred on de­serv­ing per­form­ers and those work­ing be­hind the scenes. Top teams move on to the east re­gional event and may later qual­ify for the Sears On­tario Pro­vin­cial Show­case.

While per­form­ing at the event, stu­dents de­velop many im­por­tant skills and gain valu­able life ex­pe­ri­ence. Stu­dents work­ing be­hind the scenes learn how to build sets in shop class, or work in sup­port roles in­clud­ing light and sound tech­ni­cian, make-up artist and stage crew mem­ber.

“It re­ally touches on ev­ery­thing,” said Mer­izzi. “It helps stu­dents build com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and self-con­fi­dence, in­spires mo­ti­va­tion, and in­stills lead­er­ship and co­op­er­a­tion skills.”

Par­tic­i­pat­ing stu­dents can also ap­ply for $15,000 worth of bur­saries, in­clud­ing four Ken and Ann Watts Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion Schol­ar­ships worth $3,000 each and six $500 bur­saries.

The dis­trict fes­ti­val is be­ing co-con­vened by Mr. Mer­izzi and Corn­wall Col­le­giate and Vo­ca­tional School (CCVS) teacher Adrian Black.

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