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Brewer troupe competes at state drama festival

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Brewer High students (from left to right) Matthew Fern, Lauryn Goodall and Alek Sayers appear as narrators in 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).' All three would earn top honors for their performance. Brewer High students (from left to right) Matthew Fern, Lauryn Goodall and Alek Sayers appear as narrators in 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).' All three would earn top honors for their performance. edge photo by Mike Fern
Four earn individual honors in parody of Shakespeare's plays 

FALMOUTH After months of rehearsals and a round of competition, students from Brewer High School made their way to the state Class A finals of the Maine State Drama Festival held last weekend at Falmouth High School.

The students, performing the hilarious parody 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged),' qualified for the competition after earning a berth at the regional round at Stearns High School in Millinocket earlier this month, where they outperformed both Bangor and Old Town high schools. And while they placed sixth overall at the state-level competition, four cast members were recognized by the judges for their individual contributions.

'We were very pleased with our performance,' said Rich Kimball, a teacher at the high school and Brewer's drama coach. 'I thought it was our best performance of the show.'

Falmouth High School took top honors in Class A with their presentation of British playwright Alan Ayckbourn's 'This Is Where We Came In,' a play about storytellers who are able to control live players and narrate traditional fairytales with twisted results.

In contrast, Brewer's production was a comedy that touched on all of Shakespeare's works. Kimball said they had to edit the show on the fly due to the 45-minute time constraint, which forced them to end it early. And despite their final standing, it was apparent that the comedic show was the audience favorite.

'The reaction of the audience was great, and [we] certainly had the largest reaction from the crowd,' he said.

Brewer students have appeared numerous times over the years at the state finals, with their best showing as recently as 2006 when they placed fourth. Since Kimball began directing in 2001, the high school troupe has been to the state finals five times. And while they didn't win this year, Kimball said the judges were pleased with their performance.

'The critique from the judges was very positive and they really were impressed with the show,' he said.

Winning individual commendations were Matthew Fern, Alek Sayers and Lauryn Goodall for their narration, and Kassidy Giggey for outstanding props.

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