By Molly Meredith
Signal Staff Writer
The Saugus High School Theater Department recently competed at the Fullerton College High School Theater Festival, in which 35 different schools from around Southern California, including performance arts schools, competed and performed.
And when the judging was completed, the Saugus students brought home a half-dozen awards in recognition of their performances. The student thespians performed “Skid Row” from the musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” and pieces from “POTUS,” “King Lear,” “Take Me Out,” “Little Women” and “Marriage Story.”
The Saugus theater students’ awards included:
• First place in Musical Theater for “Little Shop of Horrors” featuring Griffen Bebee as Seymour, Elaina Trousdale as Audrey and Samantha Allen as Soloist.
• First place in Contemporary Comedy for “POTUS” featuring Siena Currid as Harriette, Elaina Trousdale as Jean, Katie Sutherland as Margaret and Julia Cunningham as Stephanie.
• Second place in Modern Dramatic Ensemble for “Little Women” featuring Ashlyn Deforest as Jo, Hayley Noyes as Meg, Eden Rubsamen as Amy, Audrey Reickhoff as Beth and Abby Thomas as Marmee.
• Second place in Classical Ensemble for “King Lear” featuring Holly Van Puyvelde as Lear, Jamie Lee Hyde as Cordelia, Kate Eng as Goneril, Helena Perez as Regan, Sebastian Nino-Oviedo as France and Jackson Roth as Burgundy.
• Second place in Contemporary Dramatic Ensemble for “Take Me Out” featuring Griffen Bebee as Kippy, Finn Franti as Darren, Evan Dodgen as Shane, Jayden Arias as Toddy and Matthew Retamozo as Jason.
• Second place in Acting for Film for “Marriage Story” featuring Jamie Lee Hyde as Nicole and Finn Franti as Charlie.
Gina Painter, the head of the Theater Department at Saugus, said the students’ success was a testament to their talent and their work ethic.
“Not only are the kids talented, but they work really hard,” Painter said. “We set the bar really high for them and all of their hard work has paid off in spades.”
The theater department started preparing its performances in January, Painter said. In attendance at the Fullerton College High School Theater Festival were also ArTES magnet schools, so it was a “big deal that Saugus won” as many awards as they did because they were up against some tough competition, Painter said.
“Fullerton was seriously the most incredible experience,” said Trousdale, who played Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors.” “We all worked so hard on our pieces, which made winning against some of the biggest schools around us so rewarding.”
Currid, a senior who played Harriett in “POTUS,” said, “I had the most fun being surrounded by others with the same passion as me.”
Franti, a senior, added: “I had such an amazing time and feel honored to have competed alongside such talented people.”