MS: Drama Festival Returns


Raise the curtains! The 24 Hour Drama Fest was such a success in 2020 that it returned to the Cutthroat stage December 10. This year’s performance did not disappoint, and in the words of the students, was imaginative, fun, and collaborative. Produced by Megan Mahoney (MS Music + Drama and ES Dance teacher), Elle Lucas (5th Grade Teaching Assistant) and Kevin Wade ‘06 (MS+US Theater and Co-Director of the Creative Arts Academy) the performance takes inspiration from the student-written and -directed One Act Play Festival of years past. This year’s group featured 28 students who took to the stage and the tech booth for a spontaneous afternoon of entertainment.

Leading up to this year’s Fest, students participated in two months of workshops that helped build fundamental theatrical skills. Director Megan explains: “The goal of these workshops is to expose students to all elements of theatre: acting, staging, direction, lighting design, costumes, props, and more, so that they have a better understanding of what it takes to put on a production and perhaps try something they haven’t tried before. This format builds well-rounded theatre students who have an appreciation and understanding of all elements of a theatrical production.”

On the day of the festival, students were divided into groups and spun a wheel for a set of circumstances from which they wrote their original piece. This year's setting and theme combinations were medieval and fear, concert and adventure, ocean and love, and doctor’s office and greed. From there, students were randomly assigned a box of props and costumes which included everything from a set of sparkly top hats and oversized pencils, to ball gowns and patchwork pants. Students then took their circumstances, props, and costumes, and – under the guidance of Megan Mahoney, Elle Lucas, Kevin Wade and Rachel Aanstead – wrote, directed, staged, teched, and polished their skits.

Then…wait for it…students performed the skits for both the Middle School and their parents. “The energy of this festival is unlike any other production at Sun Valley Community School,” says Megan. “The nature of walking in with nothing and coming out the other side, just a few hours later, with a finished piece is incredibly exciting and it draws the students together as if we placed them all in a pressure cooker. This year’s skits were funny, thoughtful, and entirely “middle school.” The students were incredibly proud of their work and it was amazing to see everyone get up there and perform their piece with pride and gusto.” 

The above photos are a glimpse into the performance. You can view and download professional images as well as view the video of the recent ES Performance when logged into the school website>Photo+Video Gallery. Make sure to use your Blackbaud username and password to log in.