Lincoln Academy’s 2018 One Act Play Blood Wedding placed third in the State Class A One Act Drama Festival, which took place at Windham High School on March 23-24. Mount Desert High School and Yarmouth High School came in first and second, respectively.
In addition to their third place finish, festival judges recognized individual and group achievements in Lincoln Academy’s performance. Juniors Jonah Diaute and May Halm were selected to the All-Festival cast, junior Katherine Tolley was recognized for her work on the Flamenco choreography featured in the show, freshman Camden LeBel received special recognition for her role as the Flamenco Dancer, and junior Sequoia Patton got an award for her costume design.
The entire cast was honored as Best Ensemble at the Festival.
After winning the Regional One Act Festival in early March, the cast and crew spent two weeks preparing their play for the State Festival.
The theater at Windham High School is about twice the size of Medomak Valley’s theater where Regionals took place. The size of the theater definitely impacted the play’s reception, according to director Griff Braley.
“The space is a huge challenge. Our kids really need a 350 – 450 seat theater in order to prepare for this level of competition. All the schools scoring above or near us have medium-sized theaters that make the transfer to a place like Windham a natural fit for their scenic designs, vocal work, and physical performance.”
Judging at the State Festival is also far more competitive than the Regional Festival, where Blood Wedding received perfect scores from two out of the three judges. Braley is circumspect about the role of judging in theater. “Scores of 100 at Regionals are nice, but not accurate. Lower scores at States are not nice, but also not accurate. Students need to learn to score themselves and take responsibility for their own learning.”
Jonah Daiute described the difference between Regionals and States, saying “The stakes at States are just that much larger, but you go with the knowledge that you’ll be seeing some of the best shows in the state. And we did. We lost to some really incredible schools, and they were good enough that I don’t even feel bad that we lost to them.”
Senior Tommy Thelander joined the One Act cast as a percussionist, and he calls it “an amazing experience. From the start I had only the vision of learning my part and playing percussion for the production, and by the end of the first rehearsal it was clear how much more fun it was going to be. I learned a new instrument and style of music, first off, but more importantly, I began to understand how to respond to and play with actors performing on stage.”
Reflecting on Lincoln’s third place finish, Braley says, “Lincoln Academy can stand up with the best programs in the state, but only when our students commit to excellence, no matter the outcome. We are our own competition, in the end. Winning (so much fun) and losing (much less fun) is subjective, but to master oneself, while working shoulder to shoulder with your ensemble members, is an achievement worth sacrificing for. Our kids wowed their audience, took the positives and negatives from judges, and were able to hold a very valuable discourse on all of it at the end of the evening. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of kids.”