Thursday, March 10, 2016
Office of College Advancement
Fremont, CA-For two days each spring, the Ohlone College campus is overrun with performers from high schools across the state. Virtually every open space is staked out as a rehearsal area and at any time you may encounter someone reciting Shakespeare, singing Broadway show tunes, or liberally applying stage makeup in preparation for their upcoming shot onstage. The Ohlone College High School Theatre Festival, which takes place March 18-19, has been held every year by the Ohlone Theatre Department for the past 22 years.
The Festival is the largest of its kind in Northern California with over 850 high school students participating from more than 20 different high schools from all around the Bay Area-and some from as far away as Grass Valley and Hollister. They converge on the Ohlone College campus in Fremont for competition, inspiration, and instruction at the Festival.
"We are excited to welcome back high school students from all over California to support the work they do in theatre, dance, and film. Ohlone is proud to cultivate and celebrate the next generation of artists," says Festival organizer and Ohlone professor Michael Navarra. The festival requires a huge effort on the part of many individuals to plan and run the event. Support for the High School Theatre Festival requires 30 high school teachers, almost 100 judges, and 60 Ohlone student and staff coordinators.
Designed to encourage young theatre artists developing their craft, the festival provides a venue for students to showcase their talents through energetic competition. Students also benefit from being introduced to exciting new material, interacting with other students, and observing their peers while watching all the events.
Students compete for 100 awards in 35 categories in performance, improvisation, dance, technical theatre, and design in dramatic, musical, contemporary, or classical theater productions put on by the students. Professional theatre artists from all over the Bay Area serve as judges to provide feedback and support for the students' work.
Three top awards are given to high schools with the most points scored: the Festival Sweepstakes for the highest cumulative score, the Judges Sweepstakes for the highest scored single performance, and the Tech Sweepstakes for the highest total score for tech and design.