The cast and crew of Lincoln Academy’s 2019 One Act play, “The Snow Maiden” after winning the Regional One Act competition.

Lincoln Academy is the Regional One Act Champion for the twelfth time in 13 years with their performance of The Snow Maiden at the Regional One Act Festival at Medomak Valley High School on Saturday, March 8. The play will move on to the Class A State Drama Festival at Camden Hills High School on March 22-23.

The birth of the Snow Maiden.

The birth of the Snow Maiden.

Lincoln’s version of The Snow Maiden is based on a Russian folk tale, and tells the mystical story of a girl who appears in a Russian village during the first snow of the long winter. The script was adapted by LA’s theater teacher and One Act director Griff Braley, and further adapted for the Festival by LA students, who choreographed the show so that much of the story is told through movement. Students also created bunraku puppets who play an integral part of the story’s development. The lighting and set design, costumes, and original music were also created by students.

“This play involved more student original work than we have ever done,” said Braley. “Students were involved in every aspect of the show, and the depth of that work shows in the final product.”

Senior May Halm, who plays the title role in the play, agrees. “This year we integrated so many elements into one show, with the choreography and puppet work, the singing, and light design. Everything was student-done. There were so many elements led by students melding into one show.”

Bunraku puppets

The snow maiden’s parents are played by both human actors and bunraku puppets in LA’s One Act production of the Snow Maiden.

“Our students rose to the occasion, performing beyond expectation to deliver an impactful piece for a packed house on Saturday afternoon,” said Braley. “The judge’s comment sheets described the performance as ‘gorgeous, exquisite, inspired, magical, ephemeral, stunning, fully-realized, and sublime.’ On a 300 point rubric, the three judges scores were 100, 98 and 92 for a total of 290 – the highest score for the participating schools in our region.”

Judges honored Lincoln Academy individual students with a wide array of awards for work both on stage and off. Selected to the all-festival cast were seniors May Halm, Kayleigh Tolley, and Jonah Daiute, sophomore Camden LeBel, and freshman Andrew Lyndaker. Additional awards went to senior Sequoia Patton for costume design, Kayleigh Tolley and May Halm for choreography, senior Kai-Lin Shen for Light Design and Operation, and seniors Wendy Qin and Wenxin Liang for Musical Composition and Performance. Senior Emily Harris won an award as Outstanding Stage Manager. Seniors Emmie Farrell, John Cook, Jonah Daiute, junior Aria Tan, sophomore Honora Boothby, and freshman Logan Heath were honored for puppet construction. Senior Rachael Schuster earned recognition for original song composition, and the dance ensemble of seniors Kayleigh Tolley and Shuyu Pan, sophomore Honora Boothby, and freshman Sonny Cumming won a Dance Ensemble award.

Snow Maiden musicians

Wenxin Liang ’19 and Wendy Qin ’19 composed and perform the original music for the play.

“Judges honored us with the most individual awards we have ever received in a One Act,” said Braley. “It speaks to the depth of student investment in this play, which is a true ensemble production both on stage and off.”

Senior Jonah Daiute has been part of Lincoln Academy’s One Act competition for all four years of high school. He said that this year was “the most fun I have ever had in One Acts. On stage you want to put everything into what you are doing, and this year we did that; we put everything we could into the show.”

The One Act cast and crew will move on to the Class A Maine State Drama Festival, which will take place at Camden Hills High School on March 22-23. At the festival Lincoln Academy will compete with the eight other Class A Regional One Act winners from throughout the state. Audience members are encouraged to attend the festival, where each session includes productions by two or three schools. Information about the statewide festival is available at the Maine Drama Council’s facebook page:

The cast and crew will offer an additional performance of The Snow Maiden on Wednesday, March 20 at 7 pm at the Poe Theater, giving the local audience a chance to see this award-winning production. No reservations are required, and an optional $5 donation at the door will offset the costs of traveling to the State Festival.