Lincoln Academy is the Regional One Act Champion for the tenth time in eleven years. On Saturday, March 11 at the Regional One Act Festival hosted by Camden Hills Regional High School, Lincoln Academy’s One Act play Electra earned first place in Class B, and will move on to the State Drama Festival later this month. The LA One Act play is a shortened version of the Greek tragedy originally written by Sophocles and later adapted by Frank McGuinness.
In addition to the top score overall, Electra received the following awards from judges: sophomores Rachael Schuster and Jonah Daiute, and seniors Toru Fiberisima and Thalia Eddyblouin were selected for All-Festival cast awards. Freshman Quinn Straus, sophomore Chris Burrow, and junior Kendra Bellefleur received Music Composition/Performance awards for music that they composed and performed live on stage during the play. The entire cast and crew were honored for the play’s Set Construction and Design Award.
For a play to compete in the Maine Drama Festival, it must meet very strict requirements: the play itself can be no longer than 35 minutes, and the entire set and all props must be set up in five minutes and taken down in five minutes. Exceeding any of these time limits results in the play’s disqualification from the festival. All set pieces must fit through a standard sized door, so the set must be designed to break down into small, portable pieces.
The set for Electra is ambitious, with a towering door frame and ramp as well as a life-sized dead tree that the cast and crew disassemble and assemble for each on-the-road performance. “It was important to have large set pieces to fill the space at Camden’s giant Strom auditorium, which is ten time as large as our home theater, the Poe,” said Director Griff Braley, who led student participants from script adaptation through set and costume design and the stage work itself. “In order to be the right scale for the Strom theater, the set pieces have to look way too big in the Poe. This is one of the challenges of the One Act process: designing a performance for the space you will perform in rather than the one you rehearse in.”
Braley believes strongly in the educational value of the entire One Act process, explaining, “taking a One Act play to competition is one of the best theater-education experiences students can have, whether they lighting a new space, acting on the road, or filling a large theater with sound. These students brought great dedication and focus to their tasks, and the results show it.”
Award-winning actor Jonah Daiute agreed. “I think that the best thing from my experience was the process. I enjoyed building the set and building the show. I really enjoyed creating something special.”
Thalia Eddyblouin, who won an acting award for her portrayal of the title character, Electra–a woman so distraught with grief for her dead father that she plots the death of her mother–credited her fellow actors with the success of the play. “Working with a great cast of dedicated and talented actors is a gift that I will never forget,” said Eddyblouin.
Quinn Straus, a freshman cello player who helped compose and perform the award-winning music for the play said, “my best experience was hearing how much the actors enjoyed having the music, and how much it enhanced their performance.”
“Seeing the look on the cast and crew’s faces when we won was one of the most rewarding parts of the entire process,” said award-winning actor Rachael Schuster, “because in that moment we knew that all of our hard work had paid off.
Electra will perform at the State One Act Festival at Yarmouth High School on March 24 and 25. Information about the statewide festival is available at the Maine Drama Council’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/medramafest/
See more photos of Electra’s open rehearsal preview here.