Monday, March 18, 2013

If It's March, There Will Be Drama!

When high school basketball and Scholastic Bowl are over, we all know what time it is, right? Time for the state high school drama competition! It all takes place March 22-23 in Springfield, at the Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Last year, Oak Lawn Community High School was the big winner in drama, taking first place honors with their production of William Inge's Picnic. Homewood-Flossmoor's The Dream of the Burning Boy by David West Read came in second, very closely followed by John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men performed by Glenbrook North.

So who's coming to state this year? And what are they performing? Sectional results are in, and the line-up shows that last year's No. 1 is back, with Oak Lawn offering Nina Raines' Tribes, a new play from England about a deaf son trying to be heard in his very verbal family. The 2011 champion, Reavis High School from Burbank, is also coming back to state. Reavis will tackle Mark Medoff's Children of a Lesser God, a very different take on deafness and the deaf community, first performed on Broadway in 1980. Reavis finished in 4th place last year with The Beauty Queen of Lenane.

Also returning is Benton High School, which took 5th last year, this time with Anatomy of Gray by Jim Leonard Jr. Leonard's play, about a small town in Indiana and the doctor who tries to heal its wounds, was last performed at state in 2011, when Oak Lawn's production finished as runner-up to Reavis and These Shining Lives.

Other returnees from last year include Rock Island High School, which will present David Mamet's controversial Oleanna, a man-vs.-woman play about sexual harassment and gender politics;  Thornton High School from Harvey with Zooman and the Sign by Charles Fuller; Palatine's Fremd High School with Sylvia Regan's Morning Star; Belleville West performing Jon Robin Baitz's brand-new family drama Other Desert Cities; and West Chicago High School, this time offering Nick Dear's version of Frankenstein.

Thornton Fractional adds Chad Beckim's After to the mix, while Fenton performs Motherhood Out Loud by Susan Rose and Joan Stein, Waubonsie Valley High School from Aurora goes with Sarah Ruhl's beautiful and poetic take on Eurydice, and Rockford Auburn hopes to impress with a short version of Romeo and Juliet they're calling A Clockwork Romance.

For the complete schedule of performances, click here, while you'll find information and directions to the State Final in Springfield here.

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