PEN Drama Excels In Competition
• Peninsula High drama students compete at festival in Fullerton and bring home awards.
Twenty students of Palos Verdes Peninsula High’s Drama Department attended the annual California Educational Theatre Association (CETA) High School Theatre Festival Jan. 18 in Fullerton
With prestigious awards given to students from various high school productions, the festival was a testament to the success the Peninsula students achieved in their craft.
The CETA is an organization that critiques high school theatre productions throughout Southern California during the October and December months.
The productions that are deemed the best after this two-month process are displayed at the association’s Festival. Along with the performances, participants of the festival have the opportunity to attend numerous workshops led by well-known figures in theatre. The workshop subjects range from dancing to dealing with stage fright.
The Festival’s goal is to encourage the education and growth of aspiring theatre performers.
Twenty-four of Peninsula’s drama students received a Certificate of Merit from the association through the different aspects the art has to offer, from makeup work to producing plays.
Those who earned a certificate were from productions of “Girls Like That” and “She Kills Monsters.” Along with these award, the production of “She Kills Monsters,” produced by Chloe Green, Sydney Miller and Kaito Suzuki, earned second place for the Film Trailer competition within the CETA.
There is one particular achievement of a Peninsula senior in drama that should be taken note of. Rachel Edelstein, a four-year member of the department, earned one of five scholarships among 96 contestants through the organization. As the award is only given to those who hope to pursue the art in college, Edelstein can now utilize the scholarship money to work towards theatre in university and beyond.
“I do not think I would [receive this award] because [the drama department and I] watched everyone in the final rounds, and they were all so good,” Edelstein said. “I thought that I did not stand a chance, so [getting the scholarship] was a genuine shock to me, but I always like a nice surprise [here and there].”
Since her freshman year, Edelstein has always considered drama a significant aspect of her life. Throughout her four years in the drama class, Edelstein has participated in 11 productions along with being part of the stage crew for a couple. She is on the board of Drama Club as well as captain of ComedySportz, an improv training program.
Finally, Edelstein and the best of the department members attended another festival this past summer in Scotland, called the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to showcase her and the department’s talent and passion for theatre.
“You can say I am heavily involved with the drama program,” Edelstein said. “You can definitely learn a thing or two from four years of drama –not only theatre-related things but things like people skills as well – so my involvement with the department definitely contributed to me earning the scholarship.”