Concord, Bow earn spots at state festival

The Bow High School drama club shows off its New Hampshire Educational Theatre Guild's regional plaque after finishing in the top two on Saturday and advancing to the state festival. Courtesy
The Bow High School drama club shows off its New Hampshire Educational Theatre Guild's regional plaque after finishing in the top two on Saturday and advancing to the state festival. Courtesy

Both the Concord High and Bow High drama clubs had a similar goal for this past weekend: earn one of the top two spots at the New Hampshire Educational Theatre Guild’s regional festival and advance to states.

It sure is nice when you accomplish your goals.

After being the top two performances on Saturday, the local groups of young actors and actresses will put their talents up against the other six clubs chosen from the three remaining regional festivals for a chance to be named best in New Hampshire.

For the next three weekends, high school drama clubs from around the state will take part in regional festivals at Kingswood, Kearsarge and Laconia. The best two at each – along with Concord and Bow – will perform at the state festival, April 6-7 at Bow High School.

The last time Concord participated in the NHETG festival circuit (two years ago), they finished runner-up in the state and made it to New Englands. This is Bow’s first time advancing to states in four years, the first time they competed at festival.

Each school must choose a play that’s no longer than 40 minutes in length, so Concord performed Nora’s Lost. It’s the story of a woman named Nora Blodget, who’s debilitated by Alzheimer’s disease and one cold night has followed the vision of her late husband into the woods.

Along Nora’s journey that night, her life flashes before her – revealing her former life as a teacher, a caring wife and a loving mother.

“The show was just magnificent,” said Clint Klose, Concord High drama club’s director/advisor.

Bow chose Common Ground, a series of vignettes featuring different types of relationships set in a coffee shop. There are scenes of friendships ending, friendships beginning, sibling rivalries and more.

Both got some great feedback from the guild’s adjudicators. Over the next couple weeks, the clubs will take a different approach toward New Englands.

“We’ll keep working on it,” said Sarah Evans, Bow choral and theatre director. “They gave us some really good feedback.”

Klose said he doesn’t want his students to overthink it, so they will take a little break before doing a dress rehearsal (which they had to cancel) and a public performance (which is being rescheduled).

“The kids will know what they need to do,” Klose said.

Close saw Nora’s Lost the last time they competed at New Englands and the story resonated with him. It was perfect for this kind of competition.

Evans liked the way that Common Ground gave you the freedom to create your own back stories to go along with the structure of the play.

Now both will spend more time getting ready for states – and that’s a good thing.

The state festival is April 6-7 at Bow High School, and check back here to find out all the details about the event the week of.

“It’s going to be a point of pride to be able to both host and perform,” Evans said.

Author: Tim Goodwin

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