All About…Dramafest!

Julia Stanski, Staff Writer
Edited by Victoria Chiu

If you’ve never been involved in drama but want to try it in a fun and low-pressure environment, getting involved in this year’s Dramafest may be the answers to your prayers!

Every spring, MAC puts on a festival of student-directed one-act plays for both the school and outside audiences to enjoy. This year’s Dramafest will be from April 14-18 and will consist of several plays per night, with matinée performances for classes during the day.

Drama 20 and 30 students write and direct plays in class, but you don’t have to be a drama student to participate in this creative experience. Anyone is welcome to write and/or direct their own show (provided that it’s approved by Miss Williams). If you’re interested in acting in someone else’s play, there will be a meeting likely in late February or early March; open auditions will be announced for all out-of-class shows looking for actors. Auditions are generally low-pressure: usually, the director will ask you to read scenes for them with minimal preparation required. Rehearsals usually happen after school or on weekends, depending on the director. Technicians and behind-the-scenes volunteers are also appreciated and often in short supply, so if you feel that it’s something you’d like to step up for, don’t hesitate to sign up! Dramafest is a great gateway into the MAC drama world for people who haven’t quite explored it yet, and it’s an awesome successor for all the confirmed drama geeks (such as myself) who have been missing theatre since the musical finished its run back in December.

There’s a great variety of plays, so you can choose to audition for the one that interests you most; it can also be less intimidating working with student directors. We’re lucky that we receive a high level of artistic freedom during Dramafest, so it’s an opportunity to try something totally off-the-wall if that’s what you want to do. If you want to write your own show, you should have a workable draft done by mid-February. You can also find a script you’d like to direct or use one from Miss Williams’ collection with permission.

Dramafest can provide almost all the advantages of doing a full-scale show, but with a smaller group and (sometimes) smaller time commitment. Being in a play is a fun way to meet great new people and challenge yourself dramatically, and it’s a good extracurricular for a résumé. If you’re sick of going home and studying every day, a few rehearsals a week is an excellent way to add a little variety to your life, have some fun, and recharge your creativity. If you’re fighting stage fright/shyness/awkwardness, performing in MAC’s own blackbox (the drama room) for a smaller audience can be less stressful than a full theatre. You also have the potential to become a MAC celebrity: if your show’s a hit, the whole school could know your name.

If you’ve got a killer idea for a show and want to show the world, it doesn’t have to stop within the school. During performance week, a professional adjudicator (last year it was Jessica Peverett, a local actor and playwright) evaluates each show, provides feedback, and selects 1-3 plays to compete in the city festival with one-acts from other high schools in the area. You may have to miss a little class time for adjudications, but it’s totally worth it. There’s also the option of Nextfest, a festival for student-written plays that takes place in June. Shows that apply and are selected have the opportunity to be workshopped with a professional and perform again for a wider audience. Participating on any level will provide you with an invaluable experience and make for some fantastic memories.

Every year, Dramafest draws in some drama novices and converts them to theatre-lovers. Maybe this is your year to experience the craziness and exhilaration of directing, producing or performing in a unique high school theatre festival! Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity.

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