HRH Impresses at Zone Drama Festival

Each and every year the members of the Holy Redeemer Drama Department always impress both the audience and the adjudicators at the annual Zone Drama Festival. And this year was no different as both of their senior high productions performed exceptionally and were very well received.

The Zone 2 West Drama Festival took place from April 25th to 27th in Westlock and featured over 15 plays from different schools in Edson, Barrhead, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Westlock. HRH entered two plays into the Festival: You Do Love Me, Don’t You? and Hello Darkness My Old Friend.

You Do Love Me, Don’t You? performed on the night of the 25th. The play, which starts off funny, had the audience in stiches. Howver, when lead actor Thomas Pennings’ character takes a dark turn the audience was strung along into a thriller of show.

“The adjudicator had lots of positive feedback,” says grade 12 student director Kiley Bischke. “From the professionalism of out tech time to taking a script and making it into something huge, she really loved it.” The adjudicator was very impressed by Bischke saying she was “the most impressive director that she had seen thus far”. The show even won over the crowd and was quickly an audience favourite as the crowd leapt to their feet in a huge standing ovation. The play was heavily rewarded for its work winning two awards for Best Actor to Pennings and Best Stage Manager to Sean Fogarty.

HRH’s second play, Hello Darkness My Old Friend, was the very last play to take the stage at the Festival on April 27th. “It was a long time to wait,” says grade 12 student director Alaina Furegati. “But it was well worth it as the cast and crew had their best performance.” The dramatic piece moved many audience members to tears through the amazing teamwork and characterization from student actors Jayna Fedorak, Austin Frazer, and Jaden Gauchier. All three performers won Honourable Mentions in Acting for their tremendous performances. “The adjudicator said she really sympathized with the characters and was really impressed by the actors’ commitment,” says Furegati. And the audience absolutely loved the performance too as they gave it the loudest and most intense standing ovation of any show over the three-day Festival.

In the end, it was obvious that both plays had won the hearts of the audience, something that HRH students love to do.

With the Festival now complete for another year, the cast and crews will begin to pack away their costumes, set pieces and props, while at the same time preparing to say goodbye to the grade 12’s who will be graduating in two months. “This year, we were lucky to have five grade 12 students lead the way through these shows,” says Drama Teacher Peter Taylor referring to Bischke, Furegati, Frazer, Gauchier, and Rena Fakhreddine. “Each of these students brought something different to our program and helped to mentor so many of our young actors. We’re going to miss them, that’s for sure.”

Meanwhile, the grade 10 and 11 students are all set to begin working on their next major production: Chicago: High School Edition, which will run from December 4th to 7th. Look for tickets to go on sale in early November.