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GRACE BALLENGER

A single, blue, flashing light and some music was all that the students who
participate in Globefest got for inspiration. And they were off, trying to
create a scene that would lead them to a cohesive idea, something that they
could ultimately turn into a play.

The Globefest (or Drama Festival) process started at Holliston High School
just before December vacation. Students who compete in the Drama Festival
present short plays before a panel of judges, who then decide which plays
should advance to the next level. Holliston High School is also hosting the
competition this year.

Director, Mr. Brian Hickey, guides the teens through the process of writing
a play. He says that instead of directing the students as he traditionally
does, “I’m really working with [the students],” adding that his role is “to
steer the directing so that it’s visually appealing.” Other than that the
experience is entirely student run. As Mr. Hickey says, “The kids
participate in the directing, the set design, the character writing and the
lighting.”

The experience that students gain while writing their own play is a vital
part of the experience of participating in Drama Festival, but writing a
play can also come with many challenges. Hickey explains that the hardest
part of the writing process is trying to get “twenty brains working as one”
and “trying to get everyone to a unified idea.” However, Hickey also feels
that, “the experience [of] going from nothing, the igniter… to a
performance is incredible.”

Senior Eliza Dodge, who has participated in Globefest for four years, also
cherishes the experience that she gains from the process. She explains that
“When you look back, it’s pretty amazing to be able to look at what you’ve
created.”

While the experience of writing your own play is as an important part of
why Globefest is so exciting, it also sets students at a disadvantage when
it comes to the judging aspect of the competition. According to Dodge,
“when you enter festival days most shows are written already…. We lose that
month of rehearsal time while writing.” Overall, she feels that, “the odds
are stacked against us.”

In addition, Holliston High School is hosting the preliminary round of
Globefest for seven other schools. This means that Holliston must provide
space for other groups to prepare, stage space, and food throughout the
day. Stage Manager and Technical Director Marshall Cohen is in charge of
helping other groups to successfully perform at Holliston with little
advance preparation. He describes his duties as working “to oversee the
tech crews of the other seven groups that are here.” He also works, “to
assist [the other groups] prior to arriving” and to “[give] them all the
information about our auditorium and the school before [the event].”

According to Cohen, Globefest is amazing not just because “It’s fun to do a
show with my friends, but even more amazing is meeting…. many other kids
from seven other schools.” Cohen says that, “I would encourage others to
get involved in other years and for people to come and see the shows.”

UPDATE: Holliston High School’s play, “… Humans” will advance to the
semi-finals of the Festival.

UPDATE: Holliston High School’s play, “…Humans” will advance to the finals round of the Festival in Boston on March 23rd.

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