Students from Harvest Park Middle School in Pleasanton brought home the gold this month after competing at the annual California Educational Theatre Association Middle Stage Drama Fest in Sacramento. The eighth grade students, along with 300 other students from all over Northern California, competed on Feb. 8 at Samuel Jackman Middle School.
Competing students performed monologues, scenes, and original works vying for gold, silver, and bronze medals.
Leanne Bean, who teaches the performance drama class at Harvest Park, said this was the first year the competition had musical theater entries as one of the categories.
"This was the first time music theater was part of the event and we opened with this number and it got gold," said Bean.
The students prepared for five weeks to perform “Born to Hand Jive” from Grease. 32 students from Harvest Park Middle School entered in two different categories with an overall total of 41 gold medals, 12 silver and 11 bronze, according to a statement.
"Each room had at least three professional judges and one student judge," she commented.
According to Bean, the judges for the event ranged from vocal coaches and music teachers to college kids who were alumni of the competition.
In a statement, Bean said:
“Our theatre students really shined at the festival, bringing home not only their award medals, but memories of an experience they will never forget. It takes a lot of courage to perform in front of judges. Our students stepped up and did an amazing job. Students learn essential skills in drama class that translate to so many other disciplines. Theatre training is not just about preparing students to join California’s third largest industry, entertainment. It also teaches self-confidence, discipline, commitment and creativity. I am extremely proud of my students."
The medal winners are eligible to perform at the annual California Youth in Theatre Day on March 24 at the state capitol.
The California Educational Theatre Association is California’s largest professional theatre organization for educators.
Do you know any of the students who competed? Give them a shout out in the comments section below.