Old Colony theater performs at statewide competition

Mar 5, 2024

SWANSEA — There’s a first time for everything, and while the Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School Theater Company is no stranger to putting on a show, this year marked the school’s first entrance into a statewide drama festival.

The festival is held annually by the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild to allow theater students the chance to show off their talents and compete against over 90 schools across the state.

Old Colony entered the competition with a performance of “Anonymous,” written by Allison Green. The preliminary round for this year’s festival took place on Saturday, March 2.

“Anonymous” tells the story of the “new girl” at a high school, according to Old Colony Drama Director and Math Teacher Ryan Lewis. The play gives audiences her perspective on life as a teenager.

None of the characters have names, explained Lewis, as they are meant to represent anyone who could be going through a difficult time in their life. Characters are identified as “me,” “you,” “she,” “her,” and a small ensemble cast of “them.”

“We went though a couple different plays … and landed on this one because we felt it had a message that went a little deeper,” said Old Colony Director Ryan Lewis.

For Old Colony student Bea Ashley, who played the lead role of “me” in the production, the show “tackled a lot of different themes, some heavy topics, but I think we did a good job of adding a little bit of light to that — a little comedy — making it nice.”

In the competition, each school had 10 minutes to set up their productions and 40 minutes for the performance.

Lewis added that preparing for a competition show can be a lot different than preparing for a standard production.

“As much as we want to entertain, we want to focus on the specifics – our diction, how we deliver our lines, our blocking … this is more serious, and we have to hit those boxes if we want to be successful at the competition,” he said.

Old Colony went up against performances of “A Not So Dark and Stormy Night” by Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, “Radium Girls” by Walpole High School, “Emotional Baggage” by Wareham High School, “The One Act Play That Goes Wrong” by B.M.C. Durfee High School, “The Layover” by Dartmouth High School and “Icarus” by the competition’s host, Joseph Case High School.

According to Ashley, Saturday’s production was “the best run through that we had done. Everyone really came together — we all worked together as a team. It was definitely a very good experience.”

However, despite its strong performance, Old Colony will not be going into the semifinal round. Dartmouth, Joseph Case, B.M.C. Durfee and approximately 40 other schools were chosen to move on in the competition.