A Day In The Life: BHSTG at METG Festival
by Maria Qureshi
The day started early: 6:30 sharp. Cast and crew members came prepared – coffees in hand, extra t-shirts and a questionable amount of family sized snacks stuffed in backpacks.
Students tapped their feet and circulate around one each in nervousness, excitement, and, of course, to refrain from freezing in the chilling weather.
At this year’s drama festival, Braintree High School’s Theater Guild performed the one act play, Balcony Scene, directed by senior Nick D’Amico. The story follows a man – played by junior, Morgan Brown- attending his own funeral. He’s accompanied with “a friend”, a character representing a higher power, as they witness what his acquaintances have to say about his death. By the end of the play he is able to come to terms with his past life, especially when it comes to his fiancé, played by junior Olivia Paluzzi.
There is little to no movement in the show, the weight is held within the dialogue and mannerisms of the characters. To appropriately enhance that, the set is stripped of distractions: a boxed off, wooden balcony with two matching flats flown in adorning beautifully lit stained glass windows sit on
stage. Schools are not only judged for their performances but also for their technical perfection. Fortunately, the tech crew was able to miraculously put it together in less than two minutes and take it apart in less than one, beating the five minute limit effortlessly.
With a promising one act play and a visually appealing set packed in a UHaul truck – driven by the beloved technical advisor, Jim Bower – the cast, crew and supervisors made their way to Marblehead Middle School to compete against seven other high schools from across the state.
Upon arrival, the guild was assigned their room for the day and students eagerly explored the school, socializing and making new thespian friends. As seniors spend their last prelims being a part of Braintree High School’s Theater Guild, a piece of advice they’ve heard every year leading up to their senior year replays in their minds: festival gives them the most appreciating and accepting stage they will ever perform on. They already spent three months preparing for this show; all they could do now is have fun.
As show time came close, actors ran lines, palms got sweaty and the nervous tick in everyone’s feet returned. Cast members suited up in costumes and applied makeup with the help of costumes crew chief, Emma Cross. Techies slipped into their black tech shirts and put together platforms, railing and stairs just as they rehearsed countless times. The cast, under immense pressure, gave the audience their best performance. Lighting designer, Paul Vaillancourt and sound crew chief, Zach Moline, worked their magic and gave a thrilling and powerful climax. When the final lights dimmed, the audience roared in applause. Later, director, Nick D’Amico wore a proud and relieved smile.
In no particular order the judges announced the three winners. First up was Marblehead High School’s Marat Sade. The lighting designer used UV lights, captivating the audience the second the curtains opened. The cast perfectly reenacted the historically influenced story. Every character embodied an insane persona, every pair of eyes held a crazed stare. They chanted in unison and jumped into the audience creating a genuinely terrifying show.
Second to get through was Brockton High School’s Wiley and the Hairy Man. The story followed a young boy, Wiley, overcoming his fear with courage, intelligence and strength. The breathtaking set was split in two: one side being the safe, cabin home belonging to Wiley and his mother; the other, the mysterious forest, home to the Hairy Man. The cast and crew did a wonderful job in creating an eerie performance, yet preserving the innocence of the characters.
The last winner was Georgetown High School’s Last Night in Town. The main character, Marina, spends her last night in her home town reconnecting with her father and saying goodbye to her friends before heading to college. The audience exploded with laughter in every scene. The student written and directed one act play felt like a perfect portrayal of high school friendships for many of the seniors in the audience.
Although Braintree High School is not moving on to the semi-final round, the judges still awarded actor Morgan Brown and actress Olivia Paluzzi certificates for their outstanding performances.
Balcony Scene will be performed at Braintree High School March 6-8th with the one act plays AP Theatre, Waiting and Befriendead. Tickets can be bought here (https://search.seatyourself.biz/webstore/webstore.html?domain=bhs&event)