19 Apr 17

RHS play advances at Sears Drama Festival

Candice Vetter

Villager Staff

CORNWALL — Students from Russell High School have advanced in the Sears Drama Festival, after their award-winning play Weekend Pass won kudos at the Sears Seaway District Drama Festival at St. Lawrence Secondary School in Cornwall April 4 to April 8. The RHS play was named one of two outstanding productions. This enables them to compete in the Sears Ontario Drama Festival East Region Showcase which will run April 25 to April 29 in Cornwall at the Aultsville Theatre.

The play was written by RHS students Ryan Oriwol and Mitchell Ansell, and included an original song and performance by Everett Rama. Oriwol, Ansell, Rama and student actor Ethan Brydon all won awards at the District Festival. Other actors in the play are Aidan Friend, Jason Wade, Bradly Roy, Morgan McKinley and Paola Ceballos. There were 21 students in the cast and crew, directed by teacher Kevin Kennedy. He thanked the organizers for the festival, including coordinator Al Merizzi and the students of SLSS.

The original script is about six young recruits at a Canadian Armed Forces boot camp. “Ryan was in my first semester Drama class and performed a four-minute scene with some friends that I thought had potential,” said Kennedy. “We discussed how we could extend it to meet the Sears Festival minimums… months later it became Weekend Pass.”

The four-day festival produced nine plays from six schools throughout the Seaway region.