Yarmouth High School students perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” during the Maine Drama Festival. The theater troupe out-performed five other schools in their region. Contributed / Liz Dow

Freeport and Yarmouth high school theater troupes walked away from this year’s Maine Drama Festival as regional winners and individual students from those schools and Falmouth high also received accolades March 25 and 26.

Freeport’s performance was the overall winner for the Camden Hills Region in a field of eight schools and Yarmouth’s performance won at its regional site with six schools participating. There were eight regional competitions in all.

Joe Thorpe, left, Finn Rhoades and Max Cromwell during Falmouth’s performance of “Rope.” Contributed / Falmouth High School

Emily Garneau received a special commendation for her role as Emmeline Ross for Freeport High School’s thriller-mystery “The Patient,” while Aaron Stevens was awarded for his work on sound design and Camden Wilbur for set design.

Finn Rhoades was recognized for Falmouth High School’s production of the murder drama “Rope” for their performance as Brandon, and Adele Gamage was lauded for props design.

Falmouth’s Theatre Director Kristofer Kauff said “each and every actor’s performance was incredible, giving a truly honest and thrilling portrayal of these characters and story.”

“Finn Rhoades was rightfully given this honor as the lead in this production. Their hard work and dedication to playing Brandon in just the right way was unrelenting,” Kauff said. “Our props department was also recognized, which is incredibly rewarding after all the work and detail put into getting things just right. Props was led by Adele Gamage with an entire team of people pitching in to create pieces that were authentic to the time period, giving our actors the realism they needed to tell this story.”


Yarmouth High School performed Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“It was so thrilling for the students to perform for a live audience after two years of COVID restrictions,” Yarmouth Theatre Director Betsy Puelle said. “Many of our present seniors were sophomores when their show abruptly stopped its trajectory to the state competition when we went into lockdown.”

The Maine Drama Festival is typically held every year in March to promote interest in Maine high school theater programs and showcase students. Each of the regional winners usually competes at the state drama festival, and then the state winner goes on to compete at the New England Drama Festival. However, there is no state festival this year due to ongoing pandemic restrictions in some Maine schools.

Maine Principal Association Executive Director Holly Blair said some schools across the state weren’t allowing students to stay overnight in hotels or perform in front of live audiences due to COVID concerns. The regional competitions were still held to be fair to all the schools that wanted to participate in the festival.

The New England Drama Festival is not competitive this year and is being held virtually, meaning any high school in New England that wants to participate can send in a recording of a one-act play. This also played into the MPA’s decision to not hold a state competition, since schools would still have the opportunity to participate in the New England event.

Yarmouth will likely make a decision about competing by Friday, Puelle said. Falmouth and Freeport schools did not respond before The Forecaster’s deadline.


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