Today, in classrooms across the Roosevelt buildings, call-backs were being held for Roosevelt’s Dramafest. As of this November, Dramafest has been a part of Roosevelt High School for 60 years.
Dramafest is a one-act play festival that is directed by the students in the Theater class 6/7. Due to teacher strikes, auditions and other pre-production was delayed. “Thankfully it ended when it did,” Roosevelt’s new theater director, Ben Stuart, exclaimed.
Consequently, a time crunch ensued. Actors and directors were given less time to prepare. Also, not enough people signed up to audition because Dramafest wasn’t advertised. During a typical school year, news about Dramafest spreads by word of mouth and posters displayed around the school. However, due to the late school start, not enough people heard about it.
“There are ninety open roles for actors and three days before auditions, there were only sixty people’s names up on the sheet, ” Thespian member and student director Elliott Moore said. Moreover, almost all of the students signed up were female when there are roles for both genders. This led the directors to panic.
When this issue became apparent at the thespian board meeting, members went into recruit overdrive. They began to rapidly inform the student body of the event and told them to tell their friends. “I didn’t really expect it to work, but I kept praying that it would for the sake of my show,” Senior director, Joey Capestany explained. Although it was a scramble, by the end of the day, there were more than enough people signed up.
Unfortunately, the teacher strike also lead to some scheduling complications. Due to the strike, one week of Dramafest rehearsal time was eliminated. To fix this problem, a week of rehearsal time was then added to where the winter production auditions were supposed to take place.
Needless to say, the 60th Dramafest is a big deal to the theater department. This year, one of the adjudicators will be former drama teacher, Norma Wills. Wills directed Roosevelt from 1961 – 1979 and created the model for the drama class 6/7. “ I am so excited to see 90 students perform student directed shows,” Stuart enthusiastically described, “This year is going to be great.”
Learn more about Roosevelt Drama here
Featured Photo: The recently refurbished black box theater. Photo by Ruby Hale