Yosemite students participate in theater festival

Yosemite High seniors Zoe Bush, left, and Kelly Ravel came home with Judges Award medals from the Feb. 12 Lenaea Theater Festival in Folsom.
Yosemite High seniors Zoe Bush, left, and Kelly Ravel came home with Judges Award medals from the Feb. 12 Lenaea Theater Festival in Folsom. Sierra Star

Yosemite High School Theater Arts students earned awards at the Feb. 12 Lenaea Theater Festival in Folsom, the largest high school theater festival in Northern California with more than 60 school participating.

Yosemite High School seniors Zoe Bush and Kelly Ravel earned special Judges Award medals for their work.

Bush sang a song from the musical Spring Awakening and Ravel performed a monologue from the play Goodtime Charlie.

“The best part of the festival is the feedback students get from professional adjudicators,” explained Yosemite Theater Arts teacher Lars Thorson. “These professional performers and directors watch the student’s performances, then they offer suggestions and approaches to improve. Then the student has the opportunity to perform the material a second time using the suggestions. Judges Awards are given to students who really listen to the suggestions and make significant improvements in their piece.”

Bush, who has been singing and playing guitar for four years, selected the song Mama Who Bore Me.

“I selected that song because I relate to the emotion in it,” Bush said.

“I chose the monologue ‘I Ate the Divorce Papers’ from Goodtime Charlie because I like a challenge and this role is of a grown woman begging her husband not to divorce her,” explained Ravel. “I have not been through this type of scenario so to me it was an interesting experience to try to find that emotion. I love monologues that drastically change from funny to sad because I strive to be more versatile and expand my acting.”

Ravel said she was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the festival to learn more about acting.

“I loved that all these students from all these schools could come together to meet new people who have similar interests,” Ravel said. “I am so honored to have achieved this award because I really value the advice of professional directors, so to hear that my award was based on my listening to them that is what is really important to me.”

Ravel can be seen in the upcoming Sierra Pines Church production Framed, will be a ballroom dancer in the Golden Chain Theatre’s next production Little Women, and will play Liberty in Yosemite High’s spring production Wild Oats.

Yosemite High School took 18 students to Folsom for the festival. They presented the anti bullying play Fabulous, and competed by performing monologues, scenes from plays and singing songs from musicals.

“I am very proud of Zoe and Kelly,” Thorson said. “They worked well with the judges and did a great job. All of my students learned a lot and had a good time at the festival.”