For the first time in seven years the drama club at South Portland High School has won first place in the regional one-act-play competition and the club will now head to the state finals on March 18.

South Portland’s submission to this year’s Maine Drama Festival is “The Children’s Hour,” by Lillian Hellman. The show is set at an all-girls boarding school in 1930s Scotland and shows the impact of one student’s vicious lie about the two women who run the school, whom she accuses of having a lesbian relationship.

Director Deb Wray said the show still has power today, even though 80 years later societal opinions on gay relationships has evolved, including the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the rights of gay couples to marry.

In addition to taking first place at the regionals this past weekend, the troupe from South Portland also took home five all-festival cast awards won by Claire Jackson, Mackenzie Jones, Grace Chitam, Allie Souza and Angela Moline.

To raise funds for the trip to the state finals the drama club is holding a community performance of its play on Sunday, March 13, at 7 p.m.

Wray said there were “many wonderful performances and plays” at the one-act competition this year and said the judges “thought it was courageous of our club to present this play and felt that it was still very timely.”

Senior Hannah Brier added, “This win means so much to us, especially to us seniors. This play was a risky choice, but playing safe never gets you a win. I think the play resonated with the judges because, it was a daring choice.”

She also said, “This play includes very sensitive material such as suicide and sexuality and Lillian Hellman was taking a risk when she wrote it in the 1930s, and now in 2016, with everything going on, we are still taking a risk, yet we handled the material in a mature way that impressed (the judges) and our audience.”

The best thing that happened this past weekend, Brier said, was the standing ovation the play received.

The drama club at South Portland High School won first place at the regional Maine Drama Festival this past weekend and will head to the state finals, in Camden, on March 18.