Russel High School drama team headed to next level; Sears Ontario Drama Festival

Pictured above: Russell High School student Everett Rama performs in Weekend Pass.

Weekend Pass advances to East Region Showcase

CORNWALL — The Russell High School  (RHS) production Weekend Pass has qualified for the Sears Ontario Drama Festival East Region Showcase. The play advanced after winning three major awards last week at the Sears Seaway District Drama Festival, held at St. Lawrence Secondary School in Cornwall.

“The original production, about the lives of six young recruits at a three-week Canadian Armed Forces boot camp, won awards of excellence for original script (students Ryan Oriwol and Mitchell Ansell), acting (Ethan Brydon) and acting and original song (Everett Rama),” said Seaway Festival Coordinator Al Merizzi. The RHS cast, rounded out by students Aidan Friend, Jason Wade, Bradly Roy, Morgan McKinley and Paola Ceballos, will compete in the regional event April 25-29 at the Aultsville Theatre in Cornwall.

Weekend Pass was one of our best entries,” said Merizzi of the play. “It impressed the adjudicator with its originality, strong performances, and clean, smooth transition of sets by the team’s stage crew.”

The one-act play grew out of a five-minute summative project for an RHS drama class, eventually becoming the 33-minute award-winning production. The accolades mean that Russell will be heading to the regional event for the fifth time in seven years.

“We are very proud to be moving on to the regionals to represent Russell High School and the Upper Canada District School Board,” said Weekend Pass Director Kevin Kennedy. “We also want to thank Mr. Merizzi and the St. Lawrence students for running a great district festival.”

The four-day district festival hosted nine plays presented by six schools throughout the Seaway region. Upper Canada District School Board teams won 13 out of 21 dramatic awards.


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