This year the Performing Arts Company toured and competed in the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association theatre competition season with Revenge of the Space Pandas by David Mamet.
“Touring Revenge of the Space Pandas was a very interesting task this season,” said PAC Director Jonathan Kind. “We have a very young group, and I was very interested to see how PAC would handle it.”
The Company worked on the show from the last week in November through the middle of February. Performances began with a preview show for the parents of Company members on Thursday, January 26 to get a feel for performing with an audience before their district competition on Saturday, January 28 at Holland High School.
“Gull Lake placed well at Districts,” Kind said. “Taking third to the two schools that would get first in the state is not something to be ashamed about.”
Along with taking third place Gull Lake won awards for junior Parker Feraco’s sound, junior Kelly Newell’s lighting design, senior Ethan Liggett’s costuming, the overall Company’s cohesion and sophomore Mackenzie Sternburgh’s character voice.
Mid-Michigan Theatre Festival
The weekend after the District competition PAC attended the Mid-Michigan Theatre Festival (commonly referred to as Lovefest) at Garber High School. This festival is not a competition but rather a place where schools come together to showcase their plays for one another. At the Mid-Michigan Theatre Festival junior Alexander Prater and sophomore Athena Osburn won awards for acting and Feraco won a second award for sound.
Between the Mid-Michigan Theatre Festival and Regionals PAC performed two shows of Revenge of the Space Pandas for the general public receiving an audience similar to the size of the audiences for last year’s touring show, The Gift.
Saturday, February 11 PAC competed at their Regional competition at Olivet High School. At Regionals individual awards were given to junior Samantha Putman on props, Newell for a second time on lighting design, junior Ruth Hill for acting and senior Hannah Monroe for acting. Group technical awards were given to Newell, junior Tatiyanna Walls and sophomore Piper Sluyter for lighting execution as well as the entire set crew. Group acting awards were given to all of the Pandas and the entire ensemble.
Gull Lake placed fourth at Regionals but didn’t score high enough to continue onto the State Competition.
“Our show did not improve enough between Districts and Regionals to hold our spot,” Kind said. “We now know how much harder we have to work in the future to secure a spot at the State Finals.”
Since PAC did not advance to the State competition they held two more home shows the Thursday and Friday following the Regional competition ending the touring season.
“Everyone involved worked hard to get the show to where it ended up, and for that I am proud of the company,” Kind said.