A few weeks ago I was asked to Adjudicate the City High School One Act Festival. The adjudicator they had lined up had a family emergency and had to cancel so they were in a bind. It took a bit of doing and a lot of apprehension, but I managed to secure child care and get some materials to prepare myself for the task.
The past three days I watched 17 One Acts prepared by 8 Edmonton High Schools. I got to engage with the larger group, discussing themes and challenges of the pieces and then I got to talk with the individual productions about their strengths and areas of improvement. I was nervous and a little scared. One of the reasons I am back at University is because I want to deepen my background in theatre. My knowledge is highly practical and intuitive. But it was a lot of fun. I think I was able to offer helpful suggestions to all the groups and I think I was able to do it in a positive way. I don't think I sugar coated anything, but I wasn't mean either. I had so much fun. It was so nice to be around teenagers again. There is something about that age, where they are so passionate about what they are doing and eager to improve and do better.
The hardest part was selecting the awards. How can you truly compare one performance to another? The plays are different, the directors different, the actors different. I think I picked the correct two plays to go to Provincials and I think the alternate was the right choice. I saw so many actors with lovely qualities that it was hard to narrow it down. I am glad I got to give feedback in the adjudications so that those that did not get 'an award' knew that they were recognized. It's a lesson learned - the winning is in accepting the challenge to do the show and following through, because it's all apples and oranges. Congratulations to all who took part and thank you for letting me a part of it.