The Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) houses a range of programs in theater education and musical theater, including a variety of festivals for middle and high school students. Established in 1931, METG is comprised of over 160 schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Although the competition typically consists of three rounds (the preliminary, semi-final, and state finals), the final round was eliminated this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
Students participated in a preliminary round on March 19th and 20th in Wayland, where 112 plays battled it out; CRLS advanced to the regional com- petition on April 2nd and 3rd in Leominster. In between these two rounds, however, the cast gave two in-school performances on March 25th and April 1st that were enjoyed by both students and staff.
Although the organization of the festival looked a little different this year, CRLS thespians embraced the change with flexibility and enthusiasm. Julia Teller ’24 recounted her own experience participating in METG 2022 to the Register Forum. “Although it was competitive, Festival is one of the most supporting, fun, and encouraging experiences I have had the honor of participating in. We spend so much time together, perfecting our set-up, light and sound cues, and our acting, that the cast and crew stop being two different things; they turn into one team, breathing and working as one.”
The CRLS adaptation of Sorry, Wrong Number was based off of the original 1948 classic film directed by Anatole Litvak, in which one night, protagonist Leona Stevenson (played by Eden Mekoken ’22 in the CRLS adaptation) is left home alone, leading her to overhear two men planning to commit a murder. The production focuses on Leona as she struggles to uncover a dark mystery one phone call at a time.
Ms. Monica Murray, the director of this production and CRLS drama and film studies teacher expressed her appreciation for this year’s students involved, telling the Register Forum, “From the beginning, the cast and crew were open to ideas, willing to take risks, and showed a consistent journey to make this show a success. We even won the Stage Manager award at our second site for being a well-run theater department. The show was said to have a look of professional theater and I couldn’t agree more.”
All members of the cast received various distinctions; most notably, Jinho Lee ’22 and Eden Mekoken ’22 received the All Star Excellence in Acting award. The tech ensemble won Technical Excellence in the preliminary round, and at regionals, Jinho Lee ’22, Dora Stodolsky ’25, Ava Weinstein ’25, and Anna Kotowicz ’25 all received an All Star Acting award. Keira Ventola ’25 won an award for Costume Design and Execution Excellence, and Anna Bogstad ’22 and Will Van Praagh ’22 for Student Technical Director Excellence. Finally, the ensemble won the Stage Manager Award. All viewers will agree that the CRLS theater did an incredible job at bringing this show to life, and it will be exciting to see what they do for future productions, especially the upcoming Spring musicals!
This piece also appears in our April 2022 print edition.