On Thursday, Dec. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 9, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama competed against 19 other schools in the Education of Theatre Association district festival held here at MSD.
The drama thespians performed their pieces in front of a board of 43 judges from different backgrounds in the theatre community, ranging from actors to educators. Thursday and Friday were dedicated to one act competitions, while Saturday was dedicated to the individual events.
“Students show their talent through acting [and] singing,” drama teacher Melody Herzfeld said. “We also have choreography and makeup design, set design, costume design and construction and play writing. Kids can also participate in scholarships for the state, through the state or through the district.”
The district competition decides what pieces will to go to the state competition. The top winners are decided through critics choice. MSD won for monologue, pantomime, play writing and small group musical for the district.
“Our pantomime was selected for the state district representative to be at opening ceremonies at state level, which is a big deal,” Herzfeld said. “It means that all the other schools voted for our school to have our critics choice win to go.”
Senior Kali Clougherty was one of her students that competed in the district competition. Cloughetry performed a song and a monologue about a girl impersonating a raptor because she does not know how to express her feelings for a boy. Then, she had a 10-minute interview with the judges where she found out she won a scholarship for $750 for one semester at any theatre program in college this year.
“Honestly, I was completely shocked,” Clougherty said. “I had no idea I was going to get it or that I was even good enough to get it.”
Her next step is to audition for musical theatre schools in February and decide which school she will attend and use her scholarship toward.
Clougherty applied to 15 schools and has 12 auditions coming up. Her top choices are Pace University in New York City, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan.
“It feels like a relief that I’m able to have this scholarship,” Clougherty said. “I applied to so many schools, and this whole audition part gets very expensive, and I’m happy I can help pay back my parents at least a portion of what they’ve spent to help support me follow my dreams.”
There were six pieces selected to represent the school and compete at states, which will be held in Tampa in March. The drama students performing these acts will continue the preparation and keep their pieces fresh for March by rehearsing their pieces with their groups. Their one act district selection for states will also perform.
When thespians go to the festival for the state, they are also given the opportunity to participate in workshops for acting and technician aside from competition.
“My students have been ready,” Herzfeld said. “Kids typically pick pieces anywhere from six months to a year ahead of time, and they select it and work on it for long periods of time before they go to district competitions.”
Now, MSD drama will continue rehearsing for states where they hope to succeed yet again.