Its first time out, Chariho Regional High School came away from the RI State Drama Festival held this past weekend at Mt. Hope High School in Bristol, RI with 5 awards. First–time director, senior student Benjamin Rose won a directing award for his work on Women and Wallace, and seniors Ainsley Anderson, Mat Clerrico, and Mike Ottaviano won acting awards for their roles in the play. A Production Exhibit Award for development and creative process went to The Chariho Players for their work on This Is Our Youth –Songs, Scenes and Dreams.
The 2-day High School Drama Festival, sponsored by the RI Theatre Education Association, saw 16 schools from across the state judged by a panel of theatre experts in all categories of stagecraft and acting. Chariho’s entry, Women and Wallace, by Jonathan Marc Sherman, was one of three student-directed productions among the sixteen. The other hour-long productions ranged in style and content from a 60’s–inspired Much Ado About Nothing and a spare, Brechtian Hamlet, to original work inspired by the true-life story of the Rivera Brothers and a comedia dell arte slap-stick comedy. The two productions that will represent Rhode Island in the New England Regional Drama Festival are St. Mary Academy-Bay View’s production of Jay Presson Allen’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Cranston High School West’s production of Lisa Loomer’s Bocun!
Other Chariho students in Women and Wallace include Merri McCarthy and Emily Mehrer, and Rachael Ducharme, and Kacie Hackett from Hope Valley, and Andrew McQuaide from Charlestown. Sam Major, Dave DeAlmo, Chris LeHessier, Martha Reith, and Mike Neimeier are the technical crew for the play. Women and Wallace will be performed for the public again this coming Thursday and Saturday, April 13 and 15, at 8PM at the Chariho Middle School Auditorium. General Admission at the door is $5.