Martha’s Vineyard high school actors shine in state competition

The MVRHS BravEncore Theater Troupe in a preview performance of their play "Gossip" at the Performing Arts Center last month. Back row from left: Sarahrae Gruner and Julia Cooper. Front row: Derek Rogers, Alyssa Cimeno, and Helena Demoe. — File photo by Dylan Brockmeyer

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) Drama Department’s BravÉncore Troupe successfully moved through the preliminary round of The Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) high school play festival competition on Saturday, March 3. The group performed their original drama “Gossip” at the Attleboro High School in Attleboro. They were one of over 115 schools that were divided into groups that performed at 14 different high schools. Their victory moves them into the semi-final round with 44 other schools this Saturday, March 10, in Framingham. The state finals will begin on March 22.

The student thespians spent their vacation week rehearsing three to five hours every day the week before the competition according to Karla Cooper, mother of Julia, one of the actors in the production. Jennifer Estabrook, the mother of another actor, Taylor, went to see the performance. She said that she thought the vacation week improved the production and that the competition performance was “incredibly strong, much better than the three previews here on the Island,” she said. “Their timing could not have been better.”

The Massachusetts High School Festival is the METG’s premier event. The competition is organized on three levels – preliminary, semi-final, and state. Student excellence in acting and technical design is recognized at each level, including the selection of an All-Star Company at the finals. Two schools chosen at the State Festival represent Massachusetts in the New England Drama Festival, the regional showcase of secondary school theatre in April.