On March 19, Mt. Hope High School hosted the 83rd annual Rhode Island State Drama Festival for the north division of the state of Rhode Island. The Mt. Hope High School Drama Class participated in the festival along with drama classes from Bishop Hendricken High School, Saint Raphael Academy, Cumberland High School, Bay View Academy, Barrington High School, and Beacon Charter High School for the arts.
I not only was a participant in the drama festival, but a host as well. I arrived at Mt. Hope at 7 a.m., which is earlier than I wake up on a school day. I had the privilege of being a tour guide/mentor for Beacon Charter School. Which was really fun, because I was able to befriend some of the kids. We’re even facebook friends now – so it’s official.
The first play to start off the festival was put on by Bishop Hendricken. The all male cast wrote their own play. It was the funniest play I have ever seen. The portrayal of detectives at work and making spoof of the movie the God Father was hilarious. It was constant laughs and just a really great way to start off the day.
Mt. Hope was the fourth school to perform. Our school performed an original play called ‘Breaking Legs’ written by two seniors in the Mt. Hope acting class, Tori Bedford and Ryan Zinno, Tori Bedford stared as the lead girl in the play, while Ryan Zinno co-directed with Mrs. Schlink, the acting teacher at Mt. Hope High School. “Breaking Legs” is about a high school theater group whose funding is cut and theater is cancelled. The students fight to get their theatre program back no matter what tactics they have to take including blackmail.
I was very nervous the day of the play. Rehearsals were lacking in energy and the cast was feeling some doubts about the quality of the play. I was nervous that nobody was going to try and the play would be dismal. I didn’t want to let down Tori and Ryan. It was the first time that their original work was being performed. I didn’t have a speaking part until the very end when I announced to the audience that I was the only actor without a line in the play. That one line was a hit with the judges. So I can actually say, there is no such thing as small parts - only small actors. Everyone rose to the occasion and put in a good performance.
All the rehearsals paid off because Mt. Hope won the Northern R.I Drama Festival. I can still remember the moment when they announced we won. The whole cast jumped out of their chairs and started crying and hugging each other. It was a really beautiful moment. We will now be going on to the New England Drama festival in April.
On Friday April 1, at 7 p.m., in the Mt. Hope High School Auditorium, we will be putting on a showing of the winning play. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Also, it’s the last chance to come and see this play performed. This performance is a fundraiser for our trip to the New England Drama Festival. It is a three-day festival in Andover, MA.
Overall, drama fest was great. I made a lot of new friends, and I was able to see what other plays the theatre groups from different schools were working on. I’m glad that Mt. Hope is able to provide experiences like this for students. Show your support for the theatre students and try to attend our fundraiser. Hey, you football players, remember that we cheer you on in your games, so please come cheer us on on the stage.