LAWN, NL – It was an emotional moment for members of the drama troupe from Holy Name of Mary Academy in Lawn when they were named winners of the 2018 Burin Peninsula Regional Drama Fest.
The announcement brought with it a mixture of cheers and tears.
“Honestly ecstatic, this is amazing” said Kennedy Tarrant, who played the role of Kaitlyn in the troupe’s staging of Bradley Hayward’s “Selfie.”
“We haven’t won this in a very, very long time,” added Kellee Strang, who played Laura.
“So, (we are) so happy to be the one(s) who brought it back.”
According to the students, the last time a group from the school won the provincial festival was approximately 30 years ago.
“One of our senior’s mother was (part) of the last play to win.”
The troupe’s selection focuses on a year in the life of a group of high school students and the issues they face as they prepare for the future, as well as the steps they take to overcome those challenges.
Director Melanie Perry said she felt the piece was appropriate for the students.
“It fit our cast.”
Perry said she is excited by the win.
“I am still in shock,” she told the Southern Gazette following the close of the festival at St. Gabriel's Hall in Marystown Thursday evening, March 22. She also confirmed how long it has been since the school last won the festival.
“Over 30 years,” she explained. “Our troupe has been performing every year and this is the first time in that long.”
Newfoundland actor/comedian Pete Soucy was this year’s regional festival adjudicator. He told the Southern Gazette why he selected the troupe from Lawn.
“It was, I thought, a particularly well-prepared production that had some challenges to it,” he said. “It was the right kind, and difficulty of script for the group.
“It was a balanced production that had all of the various elements thoroughly worked out and I thought it was a good production to represent the region.”
Soucy said he was also happy to see the spirit all performers displayed throughout the event.
“It’s great spirit here,” he said. “A lot of other places have lost that – what used to be that school spirit surrounding the production, and it’s still here and it’s great to see.”
Soucy said he missed seeing that display of spirit in other areas he has visited in his role as adjudicator.
“But it’s alive and well here, so that’s good.”
The Lawn troupe will now go on the represent the region at the provincial drama festival in Gander May 3.
Kennedy Tarrant said she is looking forward to representing the region at the provincial fest.