Students from the drama department participated in the district competition against schools in the Mt. Hood Conference on Saturday, Jan. 11. More than half of them were top 10% in their categories, which qualified them for Regionals.
Senior Sean LeTourneau took two monologues to the competition and was given a perfect score, which earned him the position of first place in monologues. Senior Andrew de la Paz took second place in monologues. Senior Lily Cichon and junior Madison Ryder were partners for a duo scene which received second place.
“I feel like this year our department for whatever reason is… much more prepared this year than we were last year,” LeTourneau said.
This year 67 people participated, which is about twice as many as other schools have. Drama teacher Sara Dempsey was very impressed by her students’ performances and believes that this year will be one of their best.
Dempsey was very proud of all of the hard work her students put into getting ready for the competition. She noticed much more preparedness this time around in her actors and actresses.
“They were all very proud of what they brought,” Dempsey said. “Everybody was really prepared, memorized, had great characters, knew what they were doing.”
This year was LeTourneau’s first time in a drama competition as he attended the web academy up until last year and did not join drama until second semester. He was very surprised and pleased with how he performed at the competition.
In preparation for Regionals, participating students plan to devote more time to rehearsing and perfecting their scenes.
“More long nights… performing for more people… refining… repetition, take criticisms and work on them…,” LeTourneau said.
The regional competition will take place on Feb. 1 at Sandy High School. Predictions put the drama department in a good position as far as placing goes. Gresham is typically known to excel in competitions, bring many good pieces and performers to the table.
Senior Arianne Melton was planning on taking a duo scene and monologue to the competition, but due to health reasons, she was unable to perform. Fortunately, she will be able to compete at the regional competition in the group musical. The past two years the group musical has taken first place at State, and this year one large group musical and two small group musicals will be performed at regionals.
“It is difficult to make predictions for Regionals for a couple of reasons. One reason is that everyone from our department that is competing is very talented and all deserve to place,” Melton said. “Another is that everything that happens at competition is relative to other conditions. Somebody might be the best we have, but if they end up in a judging room with five other very best performers from other schools, everyone in the room may all get high scores, but they still have to be ranked in that room.”
Skill is a major factor in how an actor or actress places in competition, however a little chance is also involved.
“Judging can be very relative, what one judge loves another may hate. It really all depends. What I can predict, however, is that we all work hard and we definitely have talent in every category,” Melton said.