Alta Theatre repeats as state champions
It’s not “to be or not to be” for Alta High School’s theatre department. It’s “to be” for the students who have won the back-to-back state championship.
At the April 13 competition in South Jordan, the school received the “Superior School” award after students captured five top awards, including first place for their one-act scene from “To See the Stars” and Best Ensemble in the one-act.
“The students worked their butts off in preparation for the competition,” Alta High Drama Department Chairperson Julie Sauve said. “We held numerous rehearsals after school for the past month and half. Students also got together on their own to rehearse with each other. I had my student teacher, Linze Struiksma, help coach as well as a former student, Amanda Corbett, come in and work with them after school.”
Senior Brock Damjanovich, of Draper, was named the Best Actor in a One-Act, then teamed up with junior McKay Nicoll to win first place in a contemporary scene with a presentation from Act I of Neil Simon’s “God’s Favorite.”
“We had some funny parts and kept messing up at every rehearsal, but with that came the feeling that we could overcome any mistake at the competition,” Brock said. “We didn’t make any mistakes, but state could have gone any way. The competition there was at a high level, and we felt lucky to have the medals put around our heads.”
Brock credits the coaches for their help as well as his teacher for matching the part to him.
“She’s really good at putting the right people in the right parts with their talents. I feel as if I’m more lucky than talented,” he said.
Draper senior Mackenzie Tolk took first place in musical theatre with her performance of “Change” from “A New Brain.”
“It was hard since it was a different character than I’ve ever played before,” Mackenzie said. “I was a homeless lady who was dirty, wearing a trench coat and ripped jeans, asking for money for drugs. It was crazy. Competitive theatre is different than doing a musical for the general public; it’s much more intimidating since we’re being judged.”
Mackenzie got third at the regional competition in March; then used the notes from the judges to improve her performance.
Other state winners included Ryan Short placing second in dramatic monologue and Cole Orr and Hailey Saddler winning third place in pantomime.
To win the team competition, scores were added together from all seven categories: musical theatre, pantomime, classical scenes, contemporary scenes, dramatic monologues and humorous monologues.
Regional competition winners include Noah Martinez and Victoria Bell, first place in a classical scene; Elizabeth Mathis and Brandon Bateman, second place in a classical scene; Brock Damjanovich and McKay Nicoll, first place in a contemporary scene; Cassidy Featherstone and Colby Smith, second place in a contemporary scene; Janie DeFriez and Amber Hlavacek, third place in a pantomime; Charlene Wilde, second place in a dramatic monologue; Ally Thomas, third place in a humorous monologue; Cassidy Cook, first place in musical theatre; and Mackenzie Tolk, third place in musical theatre.