Earlier this month, the cast and crew of BFA Fairfax High School’s One Act Play, War at Home: Students Respond to September 11th, gathered in the classroom with nervous energy awaiting the arrival of the bus. Today was the day that they had been working towards for the last two months: festival day.
Every year the Vermont Drama Council and Vermont Principals’ Association host the High School One Act festivals across the state. Between four and six schools attend each regional festival for a 16-hour day of theater, friends, laughter, tears, and joy. Students are responsible for the majority of the festival activities from the host school’s decoration and organization of the day’s events to running the Liz Lerman Constructed Response Forum after each school’s production. Students from all walks of life and communities gather at the festival to participate in the incredible world of theater.
As the BFA Fairfax bus arrived at Milton High School the energy and excitement was palpable! Students from different schools embraced each other upon arrival, the gracious hosts from Milton provided a quick tour around the building, and then students were off to opening ceremonies. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about theater is how it brings people together.
Next up was workshops. Fairfax students attended a range of hour-long activities; everything from makeup design, to Vinyasa yoga, and even stage combat was offered. Then the performances began. Six incredible performances from Lamoille, Milton, Stowe, Essex, BFA St. Albans, and, finally, BFA Fairfax. Each performance showcased talented actors, thoughtful stage hands, exuberant lighting technicians, creative sound designers, and more. After each show, the directors leave the students with generous volunteers to participate in Forum while the director’s have a meeting to discuss the strengths of the performance. Ultimately, two high schools move on to the Vermont State One Act Festival. In between performances, students have meals, participate in an open mic style Coffee House, and socialize with their peers.
While all the students of course want to win, incredibly the most important part of the day to the students is the participation in festival itself. Never have you felt a more loving, excited and accepting energy as is found in the festival environment. Fairfax’s cast and crew talked at length about how their favorite day of the year is festival because there is truly nothing like the energy of being surrounded by 200+ passionate theater students.
Several Fairfax students received recognition for Excellence in Acting: Annalise Durocher, Nathan Langlois, and Sophie Lee. In addition, Sophie Lee, a Fairfax senior, was selected to be a member of the VT State Drama All Star Cast, which will perform at the State Festival. The Fairfax ensemble was also recognized for Excellence in Tragic Timing. Congratulations to Milton High School and Essex High School for moving on to States! BFA Fairfax and Lamoille High School will be co-hosting the State Drama Festival at Lamoille Union High School on April 7th and 8th for another incredible day of high school theater.
Special thanks to Directors Marcy Perrotte & Sara Villeneuve for contributing to this FWSU Story