H-F High students win three top honors in state dramatics competition

  A scene from the award-winning "A Head Full of
  Dreams: The Life of John Merrick" production
  that won H-F High top honors.
(Provided photos)
Homewood-Flossmoor High School students won three top honors at the Illinois High School Association’s Group Interpretation and Contest Play competition. In addition, 10 H-F students were selected for the All-State Cast.
The Group Interpretation of  “A Head Full of Dreams: The Life of John Merrick” was judged the best performance of 18 presentations by students from throughout Illinois.
The contest play “Ernest and the Pale Moon” won second place honors from among 12 schools in the IHSA competition, and the play’s technical crew won first place for its work at technical performance.
  The first place Technical
  Performance crew proudly
  displays the trophy it
  brought back to H-F
  High School.

The IHSA competition was held March 23 and 24 at the Peoria Civic Center. H-F students were judged outstanding at the Southwest Suburban Conference March 10 and the IHSA sectionals March 17 to advance to the state competition.
“The weekend at state was very tiring but really wonderful to have won a state championship in Group Interpretation and a state runner-up in contest play and state championship technical crew,” said teacher J.R. Rose. “We couldn’t be more thrilled for our students bringing the titles home to our school and our community.”
This is the second top win for H-F’s Group Interpretation team. In 2017, H-F won third place IHSA statewide honors. The 30-minute production gives interpretation to any type of literature. H-F teacher Janine Stroemer wrote the competition piece with cast members. They used the play “The Elephant Man,” as well as related information and historical documentation to develop the script.
In Group Interpretation, students are judged by their dramatization alone. They are not allowed to use lighting, specific costuming, props or makeup. The Group Interpretation work was directed by Stroemer with assistant director Nate Atkins Jr. and student assistant directors Ally Ryan, Kieran Hanley, Vicky Olaleye and Carrington Valentine.
Cast members were Charles Austin III, Joey Cipriano, Mark Cruse, Ariel Davis, Nia DeRamus, Miranda Esparza, Starr Hollis, Michael Kennedy, Laila Malak, Andronicus Marati, Charlotte McManus, Madeline Moxley, Darrow Richmond, Jacob Rodriguez, Matthew Ryan, Sarah Skorupa, Zora Shannan and Joy Woods.
The contest play was a 40-minute performance with full staging, costumes, sound, lighting and props. The play was directed by Rose. The thriller was trimmed from its original 60 minutes to meet the contest qualifications. 
Play cast members were Barbara Burns, Natalie Elfner, Adeera Harris, Jack Johnson, Ava Jones, Nate Jones, Jonathan Kriarakis, Makalyn Powell, Haley Sawyer, Alexa Sampson, Sheri Tarrer, Kevin Thompson and Brianna Valentine.
The winning play technical crew members were Chloe Battiste, Maggie Bauer, Nia Bell, Payton Brown, Davi’De Cole, Daniel Garrity, Amya Hampton, Sophie Kapica, Jacob Kirlin, Emily Komorowski, Mackenzie Lyseng, Stephen Morrow, Nathan Oh, Jordan Plaxico, Kortni Robinson, Gretchen Schmidt, Tessa Sucharzewski and Shyanne Tounsel. 
Special honors were given to 10 H-F students for their outstanding performances. They were nominated by four of the five judges at the IHSA competition.
Selected for All-State Cast for Contest Play were Ava Jones, Sophie Kapica, Jonathan Kriarakis, Stephen Morrow, Kortni Robinson and Kevin Thompson. Selected for All-State Cast for Group Interpretation were Joey Cipriano, Michael Kennedy, Jacob Rodriguez and Joy Woods.
“We’re so thankful that we live in a community and have a school board that supports the arts so thoroughly and properly and financially to let our students have these opportunities and excel the way they do,” Rose said.
  Homewood-Flossmoor High School cast members
  crowd around their second place award in IHSA
  Contest Play competition.


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