Seniors give best performance at Hudson’s Annual Competitive Plays


Hudson – When Cody Grimm and Jack Colaianni stepped onstage at Hudson High School (HHS) May 16, the audience was ready for a good time. The actors provided lots of laughs as two playwrights in the eighthgrade’s production of “Artistic Inspiration,” the first of five plays performed that afternoon as part of Hudson Drama Society’s annual Competitive Plays event.

The Competitive Plays have been part of the Drama Society’s repertoire for more than 25 years. HHS Theater Director Kathleen McKenzie selects directors, most of whom have worked with the program in the past or are graduates of HHS. She said the Competitive Plays event “is a chance for drama students to bond with their individual classes, work with diff erent directors, and have a sense of friendly competition that a normal production does not have in its final stages.”

The competition puts students in a diff erent environment than the regular school productions and many find that they enjoy the change. “Competitive plays are goofier and more relaxed than the regular productions, because you are putting on a play with people that you have grown up with,” said Marcelle Durrenberger, who performed the role of a painfully hopeful cast member and later a bitter stage manager in the junior class’s production. “It is very interesting to work with a different director every year. I get a chance to observe diff erent approaches to directing and getting actors to connect to their characters.”

Many students who take part in the competition want to continue to participate in subsequent years. Several of them want to pursue drama as a career but others are involved simply for the sense of community and to create memories.

“We usually have a core group that participates in the plays each year,” said McKenzie. “However, the groups generally get larger as the students go through school and discover the drama department.” The senior class production included a few students who have never participated in a play before.

The students from each grade performed their play before a panel of judges earlier in the week. Awards were presented at the end of the performances.

The freshman class performed the second play of the day, “Barbie Get Real.” Dressed as Barbie dolls, bent arms and all, Laura Girard and Samantha Keville performed against a colorful set as they delivered the message that it is better to be real than perfect. Girard won best actress and the production received an award for being the most visually captivating.

The sophomore class won best ensemble award after performing a Romeo and Juliet-esque story about warring mothers whose children fall in love. Sam Kurzontkowski flawlessly recited complex lines and brandished a sword in a duel that carried him and fellow actor George Hartman throughout the auditorium. Kurzontkowski was awarded best character actor.

The junior class followed with a large ensemble, complete with a narrator played by Alicia Santello, who was given the award for best character actress. Their lively rendition of “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned By Being in a Bad Play,” included Zach Johnson as the overcaff einated director and Matt Bouiver, who was a riot as an enthusiastic cast member.

Wrapping up the competition, the senior class skillfully performed a play about a male student named Derek, played by Brian Leon, coming out before the prom. Kevin Anderson played Derek’s best friend, who struggled with the news. Three monologues supplemented the central story. Jenn Carosso played a tragically selfish student disappointed by her friends. Ryan Rendano’s character gave a funny but touching speech about why he likes girls. Jason Faria’s heartbreaking monologue about the death of his father moved the audience to absolute silence. Most of the primary actors received awards for their performances. The award for best play was given to the seniors.

The Drama Society will perform “Little Shop of Horrors” in October and “Comedy of Errors” in November. The next Competitive Plays will be in May 2011.

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