March 7, 2011         

DSBN takes Curtain Call at Drama Festival 

Two DSBN student productions are being asked for an encore performance after being honoured with awards for outstanding productions at the 2011 Niagara District Sears Drama Festival held in Welland. Both Grimsby Secondary and Welland Centennial will be heading to Hamilton to present at the Regional Sears Drama Festival in April.

During the awards banquet on March 4, festival adjudicator Deanna Jones noted the exceptional quality of all the productions. Jones added that it was extremely difficult to decide on award winners, and that she only made her final choices after “a long sleepless night.” Awards were presented to individuals as well as production casts and crews.

“From the opening curtain to the final bow, audiences were captivated by these wonderful plays,” said Gerda Klassen, DSBN Arts Consultant. “Students and staff have put months of hard work into building sets, memorizing lines and rehearsing. They should all be commended for their careful preparation and professional performances.”

Festival coordinator Stewart Simpson said the event covered a “stunningly wide-range of theatre. Any one of these fine productions could have gone on to represent the Niagara region with distinction.”

The Regional Festival will take place at Sir John A. McDonald Secondary School in Hamilton from April 11-16. Two productions at the Regional Festival will be invited to perform their plays at the Ontario Showcase happening in Toronto, May 11-14. This event is noncompetitive; however, a number of awards will be given at the discretion of the adjudicator. There are prizes for writing and technical skill, as well as scholarships and bursaries awarded to help recipients pursue careers in performing arts.

Below is a full list of DSBN schools and students that took home awards from the Niagara District Sears Drama Festival held at Welland Centennial, from March 1 - 3.

Peltoma Award for Outstanding Productions: 

daFogato’s Inferno – Grimsby Secondary

The Importance of Being Earnest – Welland Centennial

Best Canadian Play 

Surviving Molly Morgan – St. Catharines Collegiate

Best Experimental Play 

Thread – Laura Secord Secondary

Sears Stage Management Award 

Megan Boswell, Jordyn Colosi, St. Catharines Collegiate

Rita Steeve Award for Crew Excellence 

Chelsea Felker, Ethan Henderson, Jake Girton, Grimsby Secondary

Good Egg Award for Festival Spirit 

Stamford Collegiate

Sears Awards of Excellence: 

Best Set Design  

Faith Bunyan for The Importance of Being Earnest - Welland Centennial Secondary School

Best Original Live Music 

Jeff Burton for Thread - Laura Secord Secondary School

Most Innovative Approach to a Published Text 

Elephant Graveyard - Governor Simcoe

Best Overall Cast in a Complex Script  

Surviving Molly Morgan - St. Catharines Collegiate

Best Performance in Comedic Role 

Miranda Bird as Helen in Thread – Laura Secord Secondary School

Best Overall Performance  

Jeremy Knapton as Old Man in The Chairs - Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School

Adjudicator’s Award: 

Overall Accomplishment in a Non-Linear Play 

Ridgeway-Crystal Beach – The Chairs, by Eugene Ionesco

Awards of Merit: 

Performance in Complicated Love Scene 

Devon Graystone and Alisha Ricottone as William and Peyton in Moments in Love - South Lincoln High School

Performance in a Minor Role 

Marcus Tuttle in Moments In Love – South Lincoln High School

Cross-Gender Performance 

Rob Colonico as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest – Welland Centennial Secondary School

Most Innovative use of Props 

Elephant Graveyard - Governor Simcoe

Most Cohesive Aesthetic in an Episodic Play 

Moments in Love – South Lincoln High School

Performance in a Difficult Role 

Kahlee Latreille as Miranda in Surviving Molly Morgan - St. Catharines Collegiate

Crew with Ambitious Set and Stage Business 

The Chairs - Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School

Commitment to Character  

Kelly Howard as the Homeless Girl in Tracks – Stamford Collegiate

Physical Performance and Specificity  

Aryn Fyke as Old Woman in The Chairs – Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School