Drama grows stronger from Independent Events


Brooke Ury, Opinion Editor

You’re standing in the middle of a room, all eyes upon you. The judges are three feet in front of you, watching your every move and taking meticulous notes. In the corner is the timer, who will stop you mid-sentence if your monologue goes over the limit.
This is the setting for the Patriot Players’ most recent performance at the Individual Events Festival Northwest.
In the competition, individuals, duos, or groups act in scenes or perform songs in front of a panel of judges. The Patriot Players, who had entries in all events, competed against students from Tacoma up to Bellingham, with over two hundred schools in attendance.
Although the competition is fierce, and the stakes can seem high, the Patriot Players showed their strengths with the support from their classmates.
“Doing the group musical was a lot less nerve wracking compared to individual performances because I had support from the other people that were performing with me,” senior Elise Ferencz said.
Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the pressure, going through the experience together gave students the chance to excel and flourish, as well as the opportunity to explore their pieces in more depth.
“In a group you can play off each other and you can get more ideas to spitball back and forth during rehearsal,” junior Joseph Carr said.
Senior Alya Phillips was awarded a yellow ribbon for her performance in the solo monologue category, securing herself a place at the National competition. But to her, the experience at Individual Events meant so much more.
“It’s taken me the three years I’ve done Individual Events to understand that it’s not about what you are doing wrong, it’s about what you are doing right, and how you can improve,” Phillips said.
Overall, the competition serves as a safe place for students to grow as actors and singers. Feedback from judges in the industry helps students understand how they can improve as performers. In addition, the Patriot players gained experience performing in front of an audience very different from the classmates and crowds they have become accustomed to.
“Competing gives you a lot of confidence, and going to Individual Events is a chance to get a real assessment of where you’re at, and how you can improve and grow,” Ferencz said. “Going to Individual Events has really helped me decide what I need to work on and improve each year as I go.”
Drama director Michael Butterworth is very proud of his students for their hard work and dedication, especially considering that they had less time to prepare compared to previous years due to the short amount of time between the fall play and Independent Events.
“My victory is that we got there, and that they were prepared,” Butterworth said.