Jr High Best Production
Holy Redeemer has now won their fourth Best Production award in a row! On April 27th and 28th, Edson hosted the Junior High Zone 2 West Drama Festival where not only did the HRH play win Best Production, but it also received a huge standing ovation from the packed theatre at the Red Brick.
And the name of the show…well, that was the deceiving part.
“Our play was actually a play within a play,” says actor and grade 8 student Jayna Fedorak. “The play within our play entitled Teenage Problems, however the real name of our play is The Show Must Go On (During the Zombie Apocalypse).”
The play began as a typical play about teenager problems would begin with two teens, played by Ava Simmons and Kaelen Tait, arguing about their petty issues and concerns. Then as the play progresses, cell phones in the audience begin to ring and audience members (planted actors within the play) leave in a panic. From there, zombies suddenly begin to appear and attack audience members and enter themselves into the play, all the while the director of the Teenage Problems play (Fedorak) encourages the cast to keep performing.
“Nobody knew what was about to happen,” says Drama Teacher Peter Taylor who actually directed the play and helped the twenty-one cast and crew keep this secret since February. “We even printed fake playbills as if we were performing the play Teenage Problems. Needless to say, people were really shocked.”
No one was more shocked than the adjudicator who was given a fake script and even witnessed the group perform a fake Tech Time with false cues. “We called it a Banana Run for fun,” says Stage Manager Sean Fogarty. “It was really fun watching the adjudicator fall for it too.”
The adjudicator was so impressed by the performance that she presented the play with the awards for Best Production and Best Mini-Ensemble (Simmons and Tait). “What a way to end my last junior high festival,” says Simmons with tears in her eyes after group won the big award. “This is just so amazing.”
The accolades didn’t stop there as the play also received three Honourable Mentions. One was to Fedorak for ‘Handling the Situation’, which is a nod for being the one to explain to the audience what just occurred. The second one was to Crisha (CJ) Jabagat for ‘Comedic Timing’ after playing the Stage Manager trying to keep things together backstage by killing off the zombies. And the third was awarded for ‘Hair and Makeup’ to the Zombies (Julianne Baleja, Hunter Bowman, Jesse Cesario, Tiffany Coes, Ethan Hunter, and Brooke Yemane – who could not have done it without the help of former HRH student Emily Pole).
“Needless to say, this show was a huge success,” says Taylor. “And we had so many new students joining the Drama Program in the show. This is really promising for our program’s future.”
This marks the fourth Best Production award that the HRH Junior High has won in a row and eighth award overall in the past 14 years.
Rounding out the rest of the cast and crew was Katie Blue, Ashley Byers, Alexa Bodner, Danielle Bittner, Stephan Domshy, Mekha George, Anya Moffat, Halle Schutz, Zoe Schwitz, and Elias Tobin.
With another Festival complete, the HRH Drama Program will begin to turn their attention to next year’s huge main stage production of The Lion King.