Reaching states one act at a time

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The Heritage thespian troupe gathers for a group photo on the last day of the competition. (Photo submitted by Adelina Marinello)

Thespians took center stage at District 7’s competition, sweeping up seven Critics’ Choice awards and four honorable mentions. The one act play “Songs for a New World” also made its way to states March 20 after winning best play at districts. Led by senior Jordyn Allen, who received best featured actress for her performance in the show, the cast  wooed audiences, receiving an award for All Star Cast and All Star Tech Crew.

After months of preparation, the Thespians’ achievements evoked a sense of satisfaction for the performers and their adviser. “For me, it is incredible to watch our students perform and bring out the passion of their craft,” Mr. JohnPaul Moccia, co-chairman of the fine arts department said. “As a teacher, it is wonderful to know where they came from and where they are going. It was most exciting to sit at the awards ceremony and hear that our seven students won Critic’s Choice and four [won honorable mention]. My heart was ecstatic for them and our school.”

Held in Tampa, Fla., the crew took nine District 7 Critic’s Choice winners to compete at the state level. Performers and stage technicians included Allen for her role in the one-act play, juniors Sophia Gorostiza and Marly Kaufman for their duet musical, seniors Frederick Bredemeyer, Nathan Mahon and Wesley Mahon for their small group musical, junior Zahra Willis Cox for her pantomime, junior Sarah Lendzian for scenic design, senior Natalie Perez for costume design and the cast of the musical “Songs for a New World.”

Preparing for a future in theater, Thespians club president senior Gabriela Coutinho competed for the district-wide senior scholarship. After performing a monologue and submitting a short portfolio, Coutinho was awarded the scholarship, dedicated to funding her college tuition. “One of the things I love about [Districts] is seeing performances come alive finally,” Coutinho said. Coutinho will be attending Northwestern University in the fall to major in their theater program.

As the year comes to an end, the final act of seniors’ high school theater careers approaches. Nonetheless, reaching the state level made for a performance to remember. “I was so proud of my troupe for achieving what good theater and art fundamentally strive to do,” Coutinho said. “I’m excited to see all they will create in the future.”

Emma is a sophomore at American Heritage School in Plantation Fla. Although this is her first year working as a part of the newspaper, she is extremely excited to be a part of the staff. Emma is also an active member of PAWS and TASSEL. In her free time she loves window shopping at home goods and trying vegan foods.

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