By Liz Paquette
“We’re pretty set. We know our lines, our stage directions, we’re ready. We’re going to make it this year,” said Matt Nixon (‘18), part of the technical crew for the One Act play Check, Please!
The One Act play, Check, Please! is being performed on March 19th at 8:00 pm as part of a Regional Theatre Festival which is being hosted by Oyster River High School this year. “Hosting the festival is a lot of work but it’s really fun. We basically make sure the day runs smoothly and all of the other schools know where they are supposed to be,” described Kristin Short (‘17), lead actress in Check, Please!. “It definitely makes the whole day more stressful because not only do we have to be worried about our show, but the day as a whole as well.”
The New Hampshire Educational Theatre Guild (NHETG) is sponsoring three festivals which are at Coe Brown Northwood Academy on March 12th, and Laconia High School on March 12th and Oyster River on the 19th. From all of these festivals, four one act shows are selected to perform at the NHETG State Theatre Festival, and at that performance two shows are chosen from the state level festival to perform at the New England Drama Festival in Connecticut.
“On the day of the competition each school performs their one act and judges pick the top four schools who move on to states, where there are twelve schools and essentially the same process happens again,” explained Short.
ORHS will be competing against Belmont High School, Concord High School, ConVal High School, Franklin High School, Groveton High School, Kearsarge Regional High School, and Salem High School. The schools will compete throughout the day, with admission tickets selling for $15.00 all day, and $7.00 for any block of shows. At the end of the last show, awards will be presented for acting, technical theatre and the judges will name the schools who will move on to the State Theatre Festival at Kingswood High School.
“I’ve never hosted it before, I’m nervous about that, I’m going to help with that and organize other schools this year so that’ll be interesting. I have a minor part but I’m sure this adds more pressure for the people who have more extensive practicing to do,” said Oliver Philbrick (‘18), who will be performing in this competition for the second time.
“The cast this year is absolutely amazing. There are so many talented people which makes me so excited for when the show all comes together,” remarked Short. “[I like] how each different character is interpreted by each actor. Most of the characters have a quirk that could be played a million different ways, so seeing how each is portrayed is so fun!”
The atmosphere of the theatre competition is different from that of regular sports competitions. “The community is really great, the people you do it with are really fun and the people you meet at the one acts are great,” said Philbrick. “Last year we got along really well with one school in particular and we were all cheering each other on.”
Nixon commented on this, saying that they became really close with Bow High School. “We have rivals, and we have our baes. Last year, we bonded with Bow High School, they were amazing and they loved us.”
Shealyn Paré (‘18) is excited to see the show. “I think it’s a cool experience to be able to host this event. I’m glad the actors will be able to have this experience,” she commented.
“I don’t want to say that we will definitely move on because it all depends on the other schools’ shows. However in past few years we have made it to the next round so fingers crossed we make it again this year!” said Short.