The 2014 Maine Drama Festival, sponsored by the Maine Principals’ Association and the Maine Drama Council, will hold its State Finals Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22. Class A — for schools with 525 students or more — will compete at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport; and Class B will compete at Yarmouth High School.

The Midcoast will have a finalist at each final. Class A Oceanside High School will bring its one-act adaptation of “The Neverending Story” just a few miles north to the Strom Auditorium, while Thorndike’s Mount View High School has more of a road trip to take with its student-written and -directed (by senior Cay Outerbridge) “The Belfry,” based on an Edgar Allen Poe short story.

The finals have the same strict rules around time and other factors as the regionals, including the fact that once the door closes for a performance it stays closed until the play is over, barring an emergency. Following each session of plays, each troupe meets with the judges for a half-hour critique. After the final session, there are student activities, including a dance, while the judges make their final decisions. Finally, all the schools reconvene in the auditorium for awards.

This makes for a lot of work for the host school’s troupe, but the Camden Hills crew is better qualified than most. Tech director Thomas Heath was a techie back in his Medomak Valley High School days, working under now Maine Drama Festival Coordinator and Strom Auditorium Manager/Technical Director Rick Ash, so the Camden Hills company is well trained. Heath noted that while Oceanside is by far the closest, none of the Class A finalists have more than a 90-minute drive ahead of them, which makes scheduling a little easier.

Mount View preview March 20

Mount View’s Angela Nason is drama advisor to both the middle and high schools, so both will perform for their community Thursday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the school’s Clifford Performing Arts Center, Route 220, Thorndike. Dubbed An Evening of One Acts, the performance will begin with the middle school students’ presentation of “While Shakespeare Slept,” followed by a short intermission. Then the high school students will set up and present their regional-winning one act. Tickets will be $3 at the door.

Mount View will compete Saturday at 1 p.m. at Yarmouth High School, 286 West Elm St. Also in the Class B finals are Oak Hill, Yarmouth, Orono, Stearns/Schenck (combined), Freeport, Lisbon, Madison, Fort Kent and MDI.


Friday night

• 6 p.m.: “15 Reasons Not to Be in a Play,” Stearns/Schenck

7 p.m.: “The Imaginary Invalid,” Lisbon High School

8 p.m.: “Everyman,” Madison Area Memorial High School

9 p.m.: “Unhappily Ever After,” Freeport High School

Saturday afternoon

• Noon: “Footballs Rock, Rock-A-Bye, What When,” Orono High School Beckett

• 1 p.m.: “The Belfry,” Mount View High School

• 2 p.m.: “Josephine's Stories,” Yarmouth High School

Saturday night

• 6 p.m.: “Opus,” Fort Kent Community High School

• 7 p.m.: “The Final Curtain of Guilded Lily,” Mount Desert Island High School

• 8 p.m.: “Worlds Afire,” Oak Hill High School

At any level, the order of plays can change occasionally, but following is the schedule for the Class A finals at Camden Hills, off Route 90. Play session admission at the door is $8, $5 for students and senior citizens.

Friday night

• 6 p.m.: “The Tragedy of Tragedies,” Skowhegan Area High School

• 7 p.m.: “Scenes from Mother Hicks,” Gorham High School

• 8 p.m.: “The Neverending Story,” Oceanside High School

Saturday afternoon

• 1 p.m.: “And You May Contribute a Verse,” Bangor High School

• 2 p.m.: “Jack and the Ruffians,” Scarborough High School

• 3 p.m.: “Charm,” Falmouth High School

• 4 p.m.: “The Spirit of Life,” Windham High School

The awards ceremony should start around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Results from both finals will be posted on the Maine Drama Council website sometime Sunday, March 23, as well as on VillageSoup. State champions of both classes are invited to present their plays in the non-competitive New England Drama Festival next month at Vermont’s St. Johnsbury Academy.