Veteran Actors Shrink Shakespeare

Claire Mueller, Staff Writer

Advanced Drama visited Acalanes High School to participate in the annual AUHSD Shakespeare Festival on January 25. Drama classes from Miramonte, Los Lomas, and Acalanes also participated.

“We go and perform 8 minute Shakespeare plays that we condense and block ourselves, and we perform for and do games with the other schools,” said senior Amealia Schooley.  “We all got to choose our plays, and we were in groups of about 5-9 people. We’ve had our groups since before winter break, and after break was the day that we really buckled down and planned for 2-3 weeks.”

“It’s the best day of the year because you get drama nerds from the four schools into one giant nerd fest,” said drama teacher Jamie Donohoe, who has gone on this field trip for the past 4 years. “We had 2 skits on the main stage, and we had 3 in these ‘breakout sessions.’ There’s nothing better.”

“It was very relaxed, and all the groups were there to have fun. In some previous ones I’ve been to in other districts, those ones were way more tense and there were actual judges and everything,” said senior Christian Fick. “It was kind of cool to see the different interpretations of the performances, because they could range to not that different to very out there, depending on the group.”

Schooley enjoyed meeting actors from other high schools. “My favorite part is that it really encourages you to meet the other drama students because there’s a lot of mingling, which usually is pretty awkward, but with drama kids everyone’s pretty out there. It was really fun to see the school dynamics, because there’s a lot of love in these drama classes. Everyone is so close to the drama teacher, and I don’t think I noticed one student that wasn’t spirited to be there.”

Fick admitted that he and his classmates could have used more practice to perfect their performances, though he felt their participation was a success. “Campolindo did well, I think. There were two groups that were really on it, but the rest of us were pretty good, but we could’ve used a lot more practice. There were a lot of things that could’ve been fixed beforehand, like transitions between scenes and memorizing lines, myself included,” said Fick.

Fick gave credit to the performance of students from Campolindo’s cross town rival campus. “Miramonte knocked it out of the park, as much as I hate to say it. They’re really good at that kind of stuff, and they practice a lot longer than we do typically. They had a really good set, and they did Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors,” said Fick.

Donohoe was also impressed by Miramonte’s efforts. “There was one from Miramonte from their Drama 2 class. They were doing Macbeth, and they had a soundtrack underneath it that was a girl singing this weird humming music and pounding on the chairs, and it changed and evolved as each scene happened,” said Donohoe, “It was fluid all the way through the scenes. It was totally cool.”

“I definitely would recommend this trip to incoming drama students, and just drama in general. It’s a really nice community to be a part of,” said Schooley.