By Steven Smeall
CORNWALL, Ontario - In just under a week, the Sears Ontario Drama Festival's Seaway district competition will take place at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School.
Holy Trinity Secondary School
The festival gives students and staff of various secondary schools throughout the area the opportunity to compose and perform their own dramatic creations. However, only students are permitted on the stage.
"The goal of the festival is to get the students to do as much of the production as possible," said festival coordinator Jimmy Malyon.
"Staff get involved in many ways but they are mostly in advisory roles."
This year there will be eight performances. Two will come from Holy Trinity with another two from Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School (CCVS). North Dundas District High School, Char-Lan District High School, Russell District High School, and St. Lawrence Secondary School take up the remaining four slots.
The festival will begin March 19 and carry on through March 21, giving interested parties plenty of time to go to one of the performances. The festival begins at 6:30 p.m. each night.
Two performances from the Seaway district competition will move on to the Regional Showcase event, which will be taking place March 31 to April 5 at the Carolee and Geoff Mason theatre located in Perth, Ontario.
"The performances are judged as all art is - subjectively," said Malyon.
David Langois, the festival's adjudicator, is responsible for deciding which performances move on to the regional festival. After every performance, Langois will give his judgement of the work to the audience. Following that he will meet with the performers privately to inform them on how they can improve.
At the district and regional festivals, various awards such as Outstanding Production and Individual Performance will be given to students to acknowledge the effort that went into their productions.
"One of the most important aspects of this festival is the education and exposure component," said Malyon. "Students are able to watch other performances and get legitimately critiqued about their performances. It provides a real opportunity for growth."
For more information about the Seaway district festival and any other Sears Ontario Drama Festivals, go to www.searsdramafestival.com.