NDSS Drama Club awarded special recognition at National Theatre School Drama Festival

The NDSS Drama Club's cast and crew of Fidget, which earned special recognition at the regional National Theatre School Drama Festival. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Adam Prudhomme

NDSS’ Drama Club’s student production of Fidget earned them special recognition during the National Theatre School Drama Festival, held in Gananoque earlier this month.

The festival drew in high school drama clubs from across the Kingston-St. Lawrence region for a day of workshops and performances.

Under the guidance of teacher Sue Marriott, students performed the one-act play on stage at the Thousand Island Playhouse. Their performance was graded by a live theatre expert.

“It was a huge thrill for these guys to perform on a professional stage,” said Marriott. “The adjudicator was the artistic director of the Thousand Islands Playhouse so we were able to receive some feedback from him and we were really fortunate to receive four awards for the performance.”

NDSS’ Angela Clarkson was recognized for her stage management while actresses Ocean Parks and Stephanie Harris were presented with awards of merit.

“I wasn’t expecting it. Everyone else did amazing like the stage managers, everything went fine,” said Clarkson, whose responsibilities included making sure the cast was in the right spot throughout the performance so that it could run smoothly.
Both Parks and Harris were called upon to play multiple roles in the performance, giving them a chance to showcase their range.

“It was my first time experiencing actually doing a play with other actors and a stage manager, I didn’t really know what that was,” said Harris. “It was really fun to be able to work with other people that were interested in what I was interested in and to be able to perform for people was really cool.”

Napanee’s entire cast and crew was also bestowed a spirit award for their great attitude displayed at the various workshops throughout the day.

The cast also included Hannah Clancy, Tally Doolan, Mason Jefkins, Hannah Lewis, Janessa Paddick and Tennyson Sharpley with Madilyne Martin as lighting operator, Kristen Kinney as set decorator and costume designer with Brooke Jonah as stage crew. NDSS’ Community, Math and Fashion programs also contributed props for the production.

“I’m so proud of them for the learning what they do when we go to this festival,” said Marriott. “It’s a very intensive day with a two hour tech rehearsal in that theatre where they figure out where do our set pieces need to go, where do we set up the props back stage, let’s program lighting cues. All the technical side of things really come together quickly and they take ownership of the show in a way that just makes me so proud.”
The after school program draws in students from all grades. The lessons they learn go far beyond the actual production.

“Whether they go for a career related to theatre or something totally different, they learn skills they can take into any career,” said Marriott. “They’re building so much confidence. The collaboration and learning how to communicate with each other. The organization and the time management. There’s so many things that they build that no matter what they end up doing, it makes them stronger for it.”

The festival now in the rear-view mirror, the club is now preparing for a staging of Freaky Friday-The Musical, which will be open for members of the public to attend. The show will run Wednesday May 15 and Thursday May 16 at 7 p.m. inside the NDSS gym. Tickets will be available later this month.

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