Cheering loudly, the supportive audience applauded as the drama leadership, hosting the 2017 MTHS Drama Awards, walked on stage. Drama teacher Jeannie Brzovic then appeared as the audience went wild, professing their love and appreciation for her.
The drama awards opened with a video recapitulating the whole year. The video started off with pictures from the events they traveled to as a team, such as the Washington State Thespian Festival, pictures of the Koala “T” Improv Team, and the various plays from this year, including “Zombie Prom”, “Insanity of Mary Girard” and “Leading Ladies.” Showcasing many backstage pictures, the theater family exchanged many laughs and jokes.
After the video, Brzovic called up the members of the MTHS Theatre Sports team onto the stage. There were no graduating seniors from theater sports, the only new member of this year’s team being junior Abbie Apana.
The Koala “T” Improv Team performed three improv games. The first game was “Freeze Tag”, where the team acts out scenarios and someone calls out “freeze” to tag and replace people in their frozen positions,then continue the game by changing the scenario.
The second game the improv team played was named “Late to Work,” essentially a guessing game, performed by Abbie Apana, Flynn Thomas and three backup actors. With Apana out of the theater, the audience gave suggestions as to why she would be late for work, and the three actors would pantomime the suggestions for Apana to guess as she struggles to make up an alibi to her boss played by Thomas.
The last game was the “Dating Game” performed by Michael Wollan, Colin Walker, Mallory Kellum, Paul Pratt and James Gisle. The audience decided what unique talents each contestant had and by asking a series of questions, Wollan would guess what talents each contestant had.
After a performance filled with drama and laughter, the drama leadership team presented ten awards and one drama letter. The decision committee for the awards recipients was composed of Brzovic, veteran drama students and some faculty members. Brzovic said, “I’ve just had a great year. They’ve worked hard. They’ve been fun. They’re smart. My best part of the whole year is the beginning.”
Tanner Rook was awarded “Outstanding Actor in a Musical” while Elysiana Batingan won “Outstanding Actress in Musical.” Paul Pratt and Emma Holbrook received “Outstanding Technicians.” Michael Wollan and Abigail Apana won the award for “Supporting Actor/Actress,” respectively for their roles in “Leading Ladies.” Ty Hardan and Peja Shymko both won an “Outstanding Newcomer” award. The “Best Actor” was awarded to Sam Schippers and the “Best Actress” to Peja Shymko.
Only Hannah Marshall was honored with the drama lettering, which is awarded for participating in four drama productions with experience onstage and backstage for at least one show. A special award called the “Cheesy Moment” was dedicated to sophomore Sam Schippers for his mishap during “Leading Ladies” when he continued the show as Steve despite his wig falling off onstage.
Nine seniors took the stage to read aloud their senior wills which they either personally wrote or received from MTHS drama alumni. The wills, written on gold paper, were given special names and passed onto the underclassmen in drama.
Following the ceremony, Schippers ran backstage and emerged with a wooden box taped shut. He explained that junior Matt Correa had handed him the box last year and told him to bring it home, to which Schippers immediately thought was “either A, nothing or B, a bomb.”
As tradition, Schippers presented the box to the youngest drama member, freshman Peja Shymko. He joked that opening the box would curse the land and building in which it’s done because inside the box is a creepy doll.
To senior Emma Dortsch, the drama department has become a close family to her.
“I feel like I’ve had a lot of growth this year, and I’ve met a lot of great new people,” Dortsch said.
Brzovic felt this was a great year for the drama department and has mixed emotions about seeing the seniors depart.
“They’re lovely, and I’ll miss them,” Brzovic said.
As the seniors in drama prepare to write the next chapter of their lives, their legacy will live on at MTHS.