Friday, March 14, 2014
Office of College Advancement
Fremont, CA-Top theatre talent from as far north as Grass Valley and as far south as Fresno will come together in a bid to wow the judges this weekend, March 21 and 22, at the Ohlone College Smith Center. The largest competition of its kind in Northern California, the 20th Annual Ohlone College High School Theatre Festival found its humble beginnings with only 200 students but now boasts almost 850 contestants from 27 schools.
The festival has grown so much over the years that teachers have started calling the festival "the Tony Awards and the Oscars rolled up in one." It's no wonder many professionals in the theatre, dance and entertainment fields trace their roots to this festival.
Attendees enjoy a variety of performances covering the world of theatre, with events ranging from classical and contemporary drama, humorous monologues, dance, and improv - it even features a "Tech Olympics," where the behind-the-scenes players can test their mettle in lighting and stage design.
Ultimately, the Festival is designed to encourage young theatre artists in their craft, showcase their talents, and introduce them to new and exciting material through energetic competition, interaction with other students, and observing their peers.
"It's really not about the trophys and medals - students are looking for critique. What did I do that's really great? What do I need work on? And then they can go back to their instructor and perfect their technique," said Ohlone Theatre professor Michele Hartmangruber.
The final judging takes place Saturday, where the best of the best in each category are chosen. Over 90 judges, many from professional theatre backgrounds, come to offer their expert opinion and provide constructive feedback to these young artists.