Windham High School’s one-act team is headed to the Maine Drama Festival’s state championships in Bangor later this month, following a second-place showing at a regional competition.

On Saturday, about three-dozen Windham-Raymond students performed the “The Chronicles of Jane, Book 7” at the Maine Drama Festival’s regional competition at Falmouth High School. The play is about a teenager, Jane, who is procrastinating on her term paper, according to director Rob Juergens, a Windham Middle School language arts and social studies teacher.

The Windham team competed against eight other schools, including Bonny Eagle High School, which placed fourth for its production of “War at Home,” a play about a group of New York high school students in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Windham team and the Falmouth High School team, which placed first, both advanced to the state championships on March 20 and March 21 at Bangor High School.

In the past eight years, Windham High School has reached the festival’s state championships five times, according to Juergens, who has never directed the Windham one-act play prior to this year. Last year, Windham placed fourth at the state competition with a performance of “The Spirit of Life,” a play about the Holocaust.

“I was pretty pleased,” Juergens said. “They absolutely nailed their performance. It was the best I’ve seen them do, pretty much flawless in terms of everything we expected from them – lights, sound, the whole performance.”

Five Windham students – Emily Algeo, Will Wheaton, Libby McBride, Jen Bernier, and Anna Giroux – won All-Festival Cast Awards for their performances in the show. Lana Pillsbury also won a judges’ commendation for best choreography.

About half of the show’s cast has never acted in a play prior to late February, when they put on three shows of “Chronicles” at Windham High School. Wheaton, a 16-year-old sophomore who participated in the state competition last year, said he is excited to travel with the cast to Bangor.

“Our show has a lot of freshmen and I’m really excited for them because they’ve never experienced States before,” he said. “We’re all very, very excited.”

Algeo, 17, a senior who performs as this year’s lead character, Jane, said she is looking forward to return to the competition’s final round.

“It’s a huge privilege to have done so well, and to move on to States,” Algeo said. “All of the teams we competed against did incredibly well, and I think any of them could have been in our place, so it’s a huge honor to move forward. I’m very excited to go to States and share our work. These competitions are always extremely fun, and I certainly look forward to being able to surround myself with other students who enjoy the theater as much as I do.”

The cast of Windham High School’s one-act play, “The Chronicles of Jane, Part 7,” has qualified for the final round of the Maine Drama Festival, to be held in Bangor March 20-21.Courtesy photo


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