For three days, over 1,000 students and 58 high schools competed in the festival. Students of the Advanced Performing Arts and Stagecraft class had the opportunity to perform monologues, duo scenes, and one act performances.
Participants for monologues include seniors Danielle Garcia and Kollin Mendoza, and junior Simone Grice. Judges Shaleen Schmutzer-Smith and Charlie Holliday gave helpful criticism; beneficial to performers and audience members, such as understanding the difference between “I” the character and “she/he” the character, controlling anger and screaming.
PHS representatives Leonardo Gonzales, Lanely Osorio, Francisco Martin and Lorena Jasso also brought competitive comical scenes to the table while performing two duo scenes.
Judge Bill Voorhees, who has done work for the hit television sitcom Family Guy, explained the importance of searching for diverse tones in comedic scenes. He said, “Magic doesn’t come to you, you have to go out and look for it.”
The highlight of the competition was the one act show, “The Dining Room,” directed by Elena Gonzalez. Gonzalez, a senior and fellow student of Advanced Performing Arts, decided to direct the short as part of her exit exam project, also known as the prep project.
Gonzalez has been involved in numerous productions with the Drama Department. She spent one month directing 10 scenes with 14 actors during and after school hours.
“It was chaos, but it was fun!” she said of the experience.
The competition was aggressive and the actors worked daily to execute a wonderful production.
Elena and PHS drama instructor Tori Scoles said they were very proud of the actors and tech members for their contribution to the festival.
They also hope to go for another three days next year to allow the students to explore more about the musical theater competition and attend additional workshops.
“I always say theatre is like a sport, you prepare, you train and then you perform,” said Scoles. “In our case, an actor scores points from the audience. Actors still want to gauge, learn and develop though, so we compete against other actors; just as a sport teams compete against each other to see which the dominant team is.”
Dulce Diaz is a senior at Patterson High School. She is currently working with the Patterson Irrigator as part of her exit exam program for graduation.