Student-led drama group performs at local theater festival


Frank Castro

Julianne Alvares, Opinion Editor

Members of the Branham theater program recently participated in the Ohlone theater festival. The group of about 14 people performed the prologue of the play, “Into the Woods,” and was organized by sophomore Stacy Yavorski.

The festival was held March 16th and 17th. The first day consisted of an orientation and round one of performances. Day two was round two and finals. All groups competed in rounds one and two while only a select few went to finals. Over one thousand students from 27 schools participated.

While the group did not advance to finals, they did get other awards: they received first place in graphic design. In addition, sophomores Derek Marvin and Annette Mino are finalists in the monologue category. This achievement gives them the opportunity to perform at the State Capitol in 2019 for World Theater Day.

Yavorski started preparing and informed members of the drama club about the group before winter break.

“I had them send video of themselves of singing and then I cast them,” said Yavorski. After casting was finalized, she held rehearsals nearly every lunch and tutorial. The actors were split into different groups of around two people for the lunch and tutorial sessions.  

“Everyone was very passionate about what they were doing, so everyone was very committed and worked hard,” said performer sophomore Katia Yarkov.

In addition to directing “Into the Woods,” Yavorski also choreographed and performed her own dance solo.

While the group was student-led, drama teacher Christina Plank supported the students when it came to certain aspects of the performance, including rehearsal spaces.

“Ms. Plank really helped us by providing us with important set pieces. It was very appreciated by all students.” said Yavorski.

The festival is not only viewed as a competition by performers, but also a chance to improve and bond.

“It’s also a learning thing because the directors give us notes and stuff… they tell us what we did right and wrong.” said Yarkov.

The weekend is also a chance for students to strengthen their bond.

“We bond a lot with each other when we’re at Ohlone,” said sophomore Liliana Blechman.

The weekend was an overall positive experience with students already making plans for the future.

“Next year we’re going to be doing another number and we’re already planning it.” said Bleachmen.

Next year’s number has already been cast and planned. They will be performing scenes from “Spelling Bee.”  Yarkov added that next year, they plan on making it to finals.