Auburn Hills, Mich. —Feb. 11, 2015— Avondale School District, an achievement-oriented learning community focused on student leadership and success in academics, the arts and athletics, announces the Avondale Theatre Company, Avondale High School’s award-winning drama troupe, scored a One Rating at the Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association (MIFA) Regional Theatre Festival on Feb. 7. The Avondale Theatre Company’s success at the regional competition qualified the troupe for the state competition being held at Chelsea High School on Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14.
MIFA runs an annual, month-long, three-tiered theatre festival that challenges schools from across the state to create traveling 45-minute productions that get adjudicated at various sites around Michigan. The festival culminates with a two-day, 13-show extravaganza, crowning the state champions in Divisions I, II and III.
At the regional festival, Avondale Theatre Company’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace garnered not only the highest rating it could achieve in the competitive Division II slate, but also numerous individual honors for the Avondale cast. Nick Wrenn (junior, Rochester Hills) picked up honors for Excellence in Set Design; Conor Lovell (junior, Rochester Hills); Sal Chimenti (senior, Rochester Hills); and Rachel Jones (freshman, Rochester Hills) each received awards for their individual performances—and the team, comprising of Sarah Monahan (junior, Troy), David Cowan (senior, Rochester Hills), Ethan Sangalang (freshman, Rochester Hills), Lyndia Gonzalez (junior, Auburn Hills), Ashley Andrews (sophomore, Auburn Hills) and Elka Hutcheson (sophomore, Auburn Hills) , who built the hilarious lobby display that highlighted this hysterical tale received a Superior Award as well. All of this comes after sweeping the awards two weeks earlier at the District Festival.
“This regional festival featured five schools that are perennial state finalists – a tough order, to say the least,” said Edmond Guay, Avondale theatre director who has helmed the Avondale Theatre Company for 28 years. “The outcome could not have been better. Our company from day one is student-focused, student-designed, and student-executed. Winning a berth at state finals with so much other competition out there is a terrific endorsement of what these kids bring to the table. In addition, this year is particularly sweet as it makes the class of 2015 the first four-for-four state finals qualifying class since the class of 1991.”
Arsenic and Old Lace marks the 15th time the Avondale Theatre Company has qualified for the state finals. The ATC won its Class or Division Title five times, in 1989 with The Fantasticks, in 1993 with The 1940’s Radio Hour, 1994, with Once On This Island, in 1997 with Noises Off, and most recently in 2013 with Bullshot Crummond, which not only won the state tile, but was the highest point earner for the entire festival.
“All 57 members of the Avondale Theatre Company pour their heart and soul, and an incredible amount of theatrical talent, into their productions. The entire district joins me in congratulating them on their success on Arsenic and Old Lace and wishes them the best as they head to Chelsea to compete for the state title,” Avondale Superintendent Dr. James Schwarz said.
The MIFA State Theatre Festival will be held at Chelsea High School, 740 North Freer Road, Chelsea, MI 48118, on Friday, Feb. 13. and Saturday, Feb. 14 Avondale’s production hits the stage at 6:20 p.m. on Friday. Festival passes can be purchased at Chelsea High School for each day or both days.
About Avondale School District
The Avondale School District is a collaborative community of teachers, staff and families working together to assure student success. The district, encompassing portions of Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Township, Troy and Rochester Hills, celebrates the richness of a diverse student population and strives to be a model school community that prepares students to be lifelong learners and contributing citizens to the world that awaits them upon graduation. Learn more about Avondale Schools, an AdvancED accredited district, at www.avondale.k12.mi.us.