Students from around the Northwest zone showcased nine one-act plays during Dramafest last week, including two performances put on by Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) students.
Students of drama teacher Alison O’Toole kicked off their Dramafest shows with Linda Daugherty’s “dont u luv me?”, directed by Grade 12 student Kelsy Casavant.
“dont u luv me?” centres around Angela (Savanna Naylor, who won the Excellence in Acting in a Lead Female Role award for her performance) a high school student who has the attention of a handsome senior student named C.J. (Damon Brochu).
At the beginning of their relationship C.J. is romantic and kind, but his behaviour quickly changes to jealous and controlling.
Angela starts to withdraw as a writer for the school’s newspaper and from her best friend Jen (Jenny Nguyen who earned the Excellence in Acting in a Supporting Female Role award), girlfriends (Zoey Hellfors, Hannah Komadina and Krista Robinson) and guy pals (Cyrus Sobredo and Tony Duong).
While at first Jen is upset with her former best friend, once she realizes C.J. has become abusive she pushes Angela to tell her parents what she’s been going through.
Throughout the play, screen projections showed the audience text messages between characters with the violent acts bestowed on Angela being shown through shadow projections.
“dont u luv me?” also featured actor Alexander Lewis, with students Selina Repole, Quinn Basso, Olivia Woodworth, Daelan Calder and Josh Franco as the stage crew.
Casavant won the Excellence in Student Directing award for “dont u luv me?”, with the play also winning the Excellence in Ensemble Work.
The second performance put on by CHSS was “Mind Games” written by Paul Elliot and directed by O’Toole.
On a regular day, psychiatrist Dr. Harriman (Aaron Grant) is reminded by his receptionist Beth (Selina Repole) that patient Kyle (Ryan Wightman who received an Honourable Mention for Acting in a Lead Male Role) is ready for his appointment.
Dr. Harriman tries to control Kyle’s ranging mood swings, stemming from a comment he made during a previous meeting, that Kyle is doing all of this to himself. Kyle took the comment quite literally, believing he is the creator of the universe.
Dr. Harriman is taken aback when Kyle demonstrates he is in control of Dr. Harriman’s world by claiming his receptionist is an older woman named Elizabeth (Grace Stewart). When the psychiatrist calls her into the office it is true.
In a state of disbelief Dr. Harriman realizes he is something Kyle created; But what happens to him, his wife (Brittany Waite) and children when Kyle leaves?
Crew members Olivia Woodworth and Katie Buell helped put on “Mind Games”.
Adjudicator Jules Terlingen decided that Caledonia Secondary School will represent the Northwest Zone at the provincial festival in May with “One Lane Bridge”. If they are unable to attend, Hazelton Secondary will represent the zone with “Oddball”.