Young Panthers Acting Up
• Young Panthers compete and win at Shakespeare Festival.
Peninsula High School freshmen had a successful run in the junior varsity division at the Drama Teacher Association of Southern California’s Shakespeare Festival held April 21.
Freshmen in the Large Group Dramatic placed second, and the Shakespeare the Musical group placing third. Additionally, the Breeches group made it to the semifinals, and the Wizarding World of Shakespeare and Comedy scenes received honorable mentions.
The Large Group Dramatic group had to perform a scene from the play “Titus Andronicus.” For the Musical group, performers had to incorporate lyrics from various songs into the scene in acapella style.
None of the groups were allowed to wear costumes, only solid colored clothing, and use only folding chairs as props.
The Large Group Dramatic scene featured Chesca Genato, Macey Caron, Zoe O’Neill, and Sophia Daniel and was directed by Lauryn Williams and Alexa Jones.
Shakespeare the Musical scene included Kylie Young, Kevin Riley, Tom Evans, Annelise Espinosa, and Quinn Sullivan, and was directed by Lauryn Williams, Alexa Jones and Sofia Molina.
All teams were helped by upperclassmen directors who had a better idea of what to expect at the competition, based on their prior experience during the Fall Drama Teacher Association competition.
“Upperclassmen were such a huge help,” said Daniel. “They had all been through DTASC before, so they prepared us in the best possible way. The seniors and the juniors all cheered us on and watched our scenes giving us tips on how we could improve.”
However, performers still ran into some difficulties, such as finding time to practice, as they all had busy schedules, and trying to keep their scenes under the time limit.
The practice times varied between each group. The Large Dramatic Group practiced twice a week for seven weeks with added practices the week before the competition. For Shakespeare the Musical, the group practiced five days a week, then two weeks before the competition for two hours each.
As finalists, there were various reasons why the Peninsula students stood out from the other competitors. For Sullivan, it was her group’s flow throughout the scenes.
“With all of our extra rehearsal time, our transitions came together to be smoother,” Sullivan said. It “definitely helped us work together. “
Upon finding out that they had placed, both groups were overjoyed, with some even crying out of happiness.
“I was so incredibly happy,” said Genato. “We worked so hard to get to that point. I really was so happy because I had so much faith in our scene, and we truly won in our hearts already… We gave it our all and nothing felt better but to know we did our best and poured our hearts into this, and it was even more incredible to find out we placed.”