School’s curtain call a triumph for drama

Pauline Villegas, Asst. A&E Editor

The Diamond Bar High School drama department stole the show at the annual California Thespian Festival. Junior Chloe Reyes and senior Riley Mawhorter placed first in their respective categories, and seven Brahmas earned superior rankings in the April 2 competition at Upland High School.

“I think the festival was a complete success. Our school was very new to this festival and despite that, five of our troupe members were called back to compete in the finals,” senior Julianna King said. King competed in the monologue category and performed monologues from “Gingerbread” by Kellie Powell and “Titus Andronicus” by William Shakespeare.

These five members include junior Riley Mawhorter, juniors Jana Yamak, Matthew Lee, and Chloe Reyes and sophomore Amelia Anijelo. The event included competitions and workshops that included young actors from California, showcasing their talents for their peers.

The drama department also had many students score highly on testing done by the London Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts, the British version of the Advanced Placement exam for the arts.

The exam included two monologues and a set of interview questions that incorporated knowledge of the dramatic arts. There is a gold, silver, and bronze level, and in each level a student can either pass, pass with merit, or pass with distinction.

Senior Jonah Martinez was awarded silver and passed with distinction, while senior Austin Mooney was awarded silver and passed with merit. Juniors Miranda Tejeda, Amanda Revilla, King, and Reyes all placed bronze and passed with either distinction or merit.

“The competition gave me what to expect and prepare for next year. It helped me love theater even more and really enjoy the little moments with the rest of my group. I’ve always loved to act and now these competitions, musicals, and plays make me love what I do even more,” Anijielo said.

Reyes placed first in the musical solo performance category, performing “Your Daddy’s Son” from Ragtime.

Reyes was awarded the title of “Best of Fest” by the judges. The group of participants who is given this award is as an example of the best contestants throughout the competition, and their pieces are  performed in front of the entire festival.

“The competition really showed me the power of acting. Being on that stage, having the opportunity to present a story to a crowd of one thousand plus people, it’s like holding kryptonite,” Reyes said.

The Drama department will not be competing in anymore competitions this year due to lack of time.

“I will work so much harder for Thespian Festival 2017 because now I know what the judges like and what I will be competing against. I will try my hardest to be so much better next year,” King said.