JAY — The Spruce Mountain High School Drama Club won the Regional Class B Maine Drama Festival on March 10 in Skowhegan. It is the first win of a regional title for SMHS Drama, as the trophy had eluded them with second-place finishes since the district consolidation. They will travel to Oceanside High School in Rockland to compete for the State Class B title at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 24.

Director Kymberli Bryant, taking over with help from retired former director Anne Weatherbee, chose the play “Paul’s Case,” an adaptation of the short story by Willa Cather, as her directorial debut for the competition. The story had special significance to Bryant, as she credits it for her decision to become a teacher.

The play takes place at the turn of the century and follows the story of a high school student in Pittsburgh named Paul Benton, who desires a life outside of his hometown where he can appreciate art, music and theater instead of the hum-drum life in the “iron-city.”

Unlike many of the elaborate one-acts done in the past, the play has a minimal set with the focus on the characters and a symbolic rose. The play had an ensemble cast of 27 students with only one lead role, that of Paul. There are few props and stylistically monotone period costumes.

The set changes throughout the show are done on stage in a choreographed fashion and scenes are meant to meld into one another seamlessly.

In addition to the regional title, the stage managers and cast won an award for “Best Scene Changes” and three actors were named to the All-Festival Cast: Seniors Peter Bussiere and Will Thornton and junior Garret Smith.

The play will be performed for the community at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, on the SMHS High School stage.

The Spruce Mountain High School Drama Club cast of “Paul’s Case” is pictured. In top from left are Robert Fowler, Spencer Noble, Will Thornton, Kaden Maberry, Jonathan Brenner, Narrissa Nieves, Carter Mitchell, Scott Jackson, Cecilia McDonald, Lilly Spencer, Gabby Beaudoin, Arianna Gordon, Natalie Luce, Sara Henderson, Madeline Labonte, Caleb Blanche, Abigail Thurston, Katelynn Ladd, Max Oullette and Payton Fitch; bottom, Cameron Souther, Kymberli Bryant, Lorelei Munro, Anna Bradford, Moreland Brochu, Delsi Hewins, Garret Smith, Rylee Saunders, Riley Gray, Hannah Coates, Acacia Fournier and Peter Bussiere.

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