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More Drama Please!!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Friday, April 20th, the Grand Marais Drama Class made the 200-mile road trip to Houghton for the First Annual Upper Peninsula Theatre Festival at Michigan Technical Univeristy. A total of 65 students from seven schools participated.  Norway attended with 16 kids, Houghton with 14, Powers with 3, Lake Linden with 6, L’Anse with 12, Hancock with 3, and Burt Township with 10. The attending students from Grand Marais were Dominik Kinlaw, Kelcie Lundquist, Cindy Rauff, and Jerry Connor (9th graders), Nate Woodruff, Elizabeth Scaife, and Taurie Horst (10th graders), and Michaela Bauknecht and Bryce Ward-Harbaum (both 11th graders).

After spending the night in a local hotel, the Burt Township students arrived at MTU ready to perform. Each school that participated performed a scene that they had picked out for that occasion. They were scored on their ability to perform their selection in the amount of time specified. This time allotment included setting their stage, performing, and removing their equipment off the stage. Schools were also scored on overall professionalism and stage presence. Houghton HS certainly deserved their highest-ranking score with their rendition of Incognito, and for their efforts they were awarded a cash prize.

After the performances, the students even played a little game of “How Long Can You Keep the Ball in the Air?” It was a fun little game for everyone to be able to participate in, as well as a chance for the students from the different schools to have the opportunity to work together toward a common goal.

After everyone preformed their scenes and enjoyed a lunch, they attended different workshops that were provided. The workshops offered were How Color Works, Auditioning and Interviewing for College, Improvisation for Creativity, Dialectically Speaking, and Costume Adventures. The students attended two of the five workshops of their choosing. These workshops were a great way for the students to get a chance to learn more about specific aspects to theatre. It also allowed the students to expand their options for what they want to do that when they go to college.

After the students were finished with the workshops, they packed up all their things and made the long bus ride home. The festival seemed to energize the students because everyone, including our beloved bus driver, Lou Bailey, sang their way back home!

By: Cindy Rauff

First Annual U.P. Theater Festival

Thursday, April 12th, 2012
The Pilgrims

The Introduction of the Pilgrims

The Grand Marais Drama Club is gearing up for the First Annual U.P. Theater Festival hosted by Michigan Technical University in Houghton, Michigan. A group of eight students will be presenting the first scene of Lindsay Price’s adaptation of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, April 21, 2012, at the festival. Three additional students will be attending to assist with costumes and make-up.

The students first performed this rendition of The Canterbury Tales for the Grand Marias community February 29, 2012, with great success. Community members lovingly embraced the drama club and assisted in countless ways. Melissa Carothers acted as voice coach for the students. Dawn Marx assisted in the sewing of costumes. Lisa Reimer painted scenery, Kim Anthor was our art advisor, and Dianna Bell acted as line coach. Most importantly, over seventy community members braved horrendous weather to attend the students’ performance.

As the students prepare to take the first scene of The Canterbury Tales to festival, community support continues. The Grand Marias Women’s Club has generously supported the students’ endeavor and offered up a substantial donation to help defray the cost of travel and lodging. Additionally, the Great Lakes Center for Youth Development has supplied a grant through the Excellence in Education Award Program. Without the assistance of these grants, this opportunity would have been out of the reach for many of our students.

While many of the original cast members are unable to attend the festival, new members are adding colorful and complex layers to the charming characters. We expect the event to be not only a wonderful learning experience, but a whole lot of fun!