All great dynasties come to an end. That was the case at this year's Saskatchewan Drama Association Region IV Drama Festival as Sacred Heart High School's 12-year domination of the competition came to an end.
Unseating the former champs was their public division rival Yorkton Regional High School. The Regional tallied a total of 15 awards including sweeping first and second place in the Best Overall Production category with the plays Killing Bill and Shape of a Girl.
Teacher Brennan Risling, who directed Shape of a Girl and co-directed Killing Bill with Erin Graas, said outdoing the Catholic school was unexpected and thrilling because even winning second best overall production in 2013 was a big deal to the school.
"It was a surprise," he said. "It's pretty satisfying to feel all your hard work being recognized."
Although disappointed, SHHS teacher Greg Digout—who has been instrumental in the school's long-term success and received a lifetime achievement award for it from SDA last year—graciously recognized the Regional's achievement.
"They had two very, very good plays that were deserving of winning the competition," he said.
The YRHS production of Killing Bill, a comedy by Alan Haehnel, will represent Region IV at this year's provincial competition in May.
Playscripts.com describes the play as follows:
"A newspaper reporter is determined to get an interview with Shelley Mackerel, the director of the strangest version of King Lear he's ever seen. As the interview illuminates Shelley's bizarre artistic choices, we see her Lear in all of its pseudo-Eastern glory—complete with dubbing, karate battles, giant pancakes, and flying forks."
Shape of a Girl is a 60-minute one-woman show about Braidie, a 15-year-old girl who recounts her memories and flashbacks of herself and her friends to her absent brother, Trevor.
Kate Martin, who starred in the play, took home the top acting award of the competition, the Mary Ellen Burgess Performance Award.
Martin said she drew inspiration from both the character, a girl her own age, who she thought was interesting and complex, as well as, former recipients of the award.
"It's absolutely incredible," she said. "I've been looking up to the people who have won it for years."
Martin intends to be a professional actor. She has already been accepted at the University of Victoria and has an audition at Ryerson University next week.
The Regional also swept the Mary Ellen Burgess category with Nicole Logan taking home the runner-up spot for her portrayal of Shelley in Killing Bill.
The Regional also swept that category with Nicole Logan taking home the runner-up spot for her portrayal of Shelley in Killing Bill.
The SHHS entries were Genre, Death Aboard the Duchess and A Mother in My Head.
In all, the two Yorkton high schools combined for 12 awards, 8 awards of merit and nine certificates of merit (for the full list please see the sidebar to this article).
Also participating in the Region IV festival were Langenberg High School (And the Giants Fell), Kamsack Comprehensive Institute (4 A.M.), Esterhazy High School (We Loathe Our Customers), Norquay School (That's Not How I Remember It), and Preeceville School (Text This).
Best Overall Production
1. Killing Bill, YRHS, directors Brennan Risling and Erin Graas
2. Shape of a Girl, YRHS, director Brennan Risling
Best Visual Production
Killing Bill, YRHS
Best Technical Production
Shape of a Girl, YRHS
Mary Ellen Burgess Performance
1. Kate Martin, YRHS (Shape of a Girl)
2. Nicole Logan, YRHS (Killing Bill)
Most Promising Performance
Luc Gendreau, YRHS (Killing Bill)
Best Technical Crew
1. Genre, SHHS
2. Killing Bill, YRHS
Bob Hinitt Technical Performance
Alex Redwood, YRHS, for lighting (Shape of a Girl)
Best Stage Manager
1. Carlie Neufeld, YRHS (Killing Bill and Shape of a Girl)
2. Kelsey Woloschuk and Shelby Novak, SHHS (Genre)
Awards of Merit for Acting Excellence
Aurius Tolentino, SHHS (Death Aboard the Duchess)
Mack Tourand, SHHS (Death Aboard the Duchess)
Kaylee Ford, SHHS (A Mother in My Head)
Clark Bazin, SHHS (A Mother in My Head)
JilliAnn Sawatsky, SHHS (Genre)
Certificates of Merit for Acting Excellence
Sam Lohnes, SHHS (Genre)
Cast, SHHS for ensemble work (Death Aboard the Duchess)
Cast, SHHS, for ensemble work (Genre)
Cast, SHHS, for visual excellence (A Mother in My Head)
Awards of Merit for Excellence in Technical Theatre
Cheyenne Miller, SHHS for props (Death Aboard the Duchess)
Allison Kruger, SHHS for music score and live sound (Genre)
Cast and Crew, YRHS for hair, make up, and costumes (Killing Bill)
Certificates of Merit for Technical Theatre Expertise
Vincent Bear, SHHS, for Lighting and Sound (Death Aboard the Duchess)
Cast and Crew, SHHS, for costumes (Genre)
Cast and Crew, YRHS, set, costumes and props (Shape of a Girl)
Drama 10 Class, YRHS, for use of recycled material (Killing Bill)
Crew, SHHS, for set construction and movement of set pieces (A Mother in my Head)