February 24, 2012                                                                                             

Enter, Stage Left!

2012 Niagara Sears Drama Festival Set to Begin  

William Shakespeare’s classic line, “All the world’s a stage,” certainly holds true for dedicated students putting the finishing touches on a number of creative, funny and thought provoking productions for the 2012 Niagara District Sears Drama Festival. This year’s event runs from February 27 – March 1 at Welland Centennial Secondary School.

“The festival is a unique and authentic opportunity for students to experience the demands and joys of theatre production,” says DSBN Arts Consultant Gerda Klassen. “Through this process, students manage every aspect of their productions from start to finish. They interpret, direct and perform the plays. Students also work on costumes, lighting and stage design.”

Students will showcase their productions in front of an experienced adjudicator who will provide a critique. This year’s festival will be adjudicated by Kelly Daniels, a local actor, playwright and the Co-Artistic Director of Lyndesfarne Theatre Company. An arts educator for 20 years, Daniels has taught acting and directing at University Theatre Departments in Winnipeg, Calgary and St. Catharines.

Klassen says the opportunity to have professional feedback will help students as they continue to grow as actors and playwrights. She adds that “students will also learn from watching their peers perform on-stage. Each school and each production brings a unique element to the Festival, giving students an opportunity to see a variety of different ideas, styles and interpretations.”

At the District level, awards will be given for Outstanding Production, Individual Performances, Stage Management and Technical Achievement. Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit are presented to acknowledge outstanding student performers, writers, directors and technicians.

District Finalists will be invited to participate in the Regional Festival, scheduled to take place at the Chatham Cultural Centre from April 23 - 28. Two Outstanding Productions from the Regional Festival will be invited to perform at the Provincial Showcase, held in North Bay from May 9 - 12.

Curtain time for the District Festival is 7:00 p.m. each night, and tickets are available at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Welland Centennial is located at 240 Thorold Road West.

The following is a list of DSBN schools participating in the 2012 Niagara District Sears Drama Festival and their performance dates:

Monday, February 27 

South Lincoln Secondary School

Coming Home 

Fort Erie Secondary School (2 entries)


May I Have Your Attention Please 


Tuesday, February 28 

St. Catharines Collegiate


Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School


Welland Centennial Secondary School

Danny, King of the Basement 


Wednesday, February 29 

Stamford Collegiate


Eastdale Secondary School

Rumour Has It 

Thursday, March 1 

Grimsby Secondary

The Man Who Laughs 

Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School

Alice in High School  

Beamsville District Secondary School