Village Soup

Camden Village Soup - March 10, 2004

High school thespians shine during regional drama competition
By Daniel O'Connell

ROCKLAND (March 10, 2004): After months of preparation and countless hours of work, Camden Hills and Rockland took the top spots in the weekend-long Division 1 regional drama competition held at Rockland District High School Saturday night. Belfast Area High School was selected as an alternate to the state Division 1 competition, which will be held at Camden Hills Regional High School on March 19 and 20.

"This was really exciting for me as a director and for my students," said festival host director and Rockland District High School theatre arts teacher Alison Machaiek, who has hosted either a state regional or final competition for the last four years. "Kids love to host. They're very good at welcoming, they understand that the nature is competition, but that we're here to help you. We're here to put your school in the best light possible."

Machaiek was quick to point out that hosting a festival of this magnitude takes a small army of volunteers from the school and the community. That group includes what she refers to as her "Drama Mamas, RDHS' finest," Technical Director Griff Braley of Wiscasset High School, and staff members from Rockland District High School. "You've got to have a huge crew that can communicate with each other," she said.

The two-day festival saw 10 local schools perform plays that ranged from Medomak Valley's thought-provoking "The Legacy" to Rockland's hilarious "Variations on Friar John's Failure."

"This was a pretty interesting festival in that we had such a wide variety of genres, of styles," said Machaiek.

Machaiek said the hard work paid off when she watched her cast and crew perform Friday night. "I was very very proud of them," she said. "You could see they were on fire. Putting that set up in five minutes was a coup. My cast is so eclectic; I don't use just the pierced-faced kids. I have athletes, artists, I have real gifted and talented musicians. It's so cool, from freshmen through seniors, that's what's really neat."

Camden Hills' director Rick Ash was also pleased by his team's performance as the Windjammers not only get to host the state finals, but also get to compete.

"It was by far the best performance they've done so far," said Ash of Camden Hills' regional performance. "Everything was right; the audience, the cast and the crew. It takes 30 people, techies and cast alike; everyone has a job to do."

Rockland is scheduled to perform on Friday night during the state finals, while Camden Hills is slated for a Saturday noontime performance.

All-Festival cast members include:

Georges Valley High School: "The Importance of Being Earnest," Claire Guyer.

Rockland District High School: "Variations on Friar John's Failure," Abby Goodridge, Ryan Jackson, Jake Newcomb and Jesse Passmore.

Belfast Area High School: "Beyond Tolerance," Nathan Rumney and Audra Curtis.

Mount View High School: "The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa in the Garden," Evan Porchetta and Jodie Martin.

Camden Hills Regional High School: "Ubu Roi," George Eisenhauer, Sam Lipman and Kyle Scott.

Medomak Valley High School: "The Legacy," George Graves.

Other awards included:

Georges Valley High School: Production and Design, Megan Watts.

Rockland District High School: Set Design and Ensemble Acting.

Medomak Valley High School: Special Effects, for Stained Glass Window.

Medomak Valley High School: Set Dressing, Tiffany Lufkin and Anna Garcia.

Camden Hills Regional High School: Costume Design.

Camden Hills Regional High School: Graphic and Video Design, Melly Ford and Brandon Koons.

Mount View High School: Excellence in Set Changing, Rhiannon Sawtelle and Gabby Van Horn.

North Haven Community School: Ensemble Acting and Specialty Props Design.

Based in Camden, Daniel O'Connell can be reached at 207-236-8468 or by e-mail at