It’s a big week for Concord High drama

Concord Insider
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Did you know, the last time the Concord High Drama Club participated in the N.H. Educational Theatre Guild state festival, they were one of two state champions crowned?

It was two years ago, and happened to be just the second time that director/
adviser Clint Klose had brought his program to perform on the festival circuit.

Their performance of My Name is Asher Lev got them not only top billing in the state, but a trip to the New England level competition. The time before that, they were state runner-up.

But despite the success, Klose only likes to do the NHETG festival every other year. They already put on multiple shows every year, and adding another one – which always coincides with getting ready for the spring show – can be a lot to take on. But it’s a great experience, which is why the group will take on the challenge once again this year.

So not only has the group been preparing Nora’s Lost for festival and Les Miserables (performances in May) at the same time for the last few months, but Concord is also playing host to one of four regionals.

“It’s a lot of work and a ton of work to host,” Klose said.

Six schools, including Concord and Bow high schools will compete this Saturday for a chance to earn one of three spots at states. Concord is the first regional, with the remaining ones to be held over the next three Saturdays.

The 12 schools that advance will then participate in the state festival (April 6 to 7 at Bow High School).

Each school must choose a play that’s no longer than 40 minutes in length. Klose saw a school perform Nora’s Lost the last time they went to the New England festival and it really stood out to him.

“It just resonated with me,” Klose said. “I said ‘that would be a great show to do.’ ”

It’s the story of Nora Blodget. She’s debilitated by Alzheimer’s disease and one cold night has followed the vision of her late husband into the woods.

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

“There’s no down time in the show. It literally keeps you on the edge of your seat,” Klose said. “It’s a very well written show.”

This large cast (more than 40 including the crew), one-act explores the nature of memory and family love, fractured by the onset of dementia.

“Dealing with this subject has been a rewarding process,” Klose said.

It includes original music written by student Zachary Stith, and a simple but creative set design of the woods at night. It’s also an ensemble-style show, which means most of the characters are on stage for the whole performance.

Concord will be the last school to take the stage at Saturdays regionals, scheduled for 6:50 p.m. But before they perform for the judges, the drama club will have the chance to get in front of a live audience for a run through. On Thursday, the CHS Drama Club will put on a one-time show (outside of the festival) of Nora’s Lost in the Christa McAuliffe Auditorium at 7 p.m. There will be a talk back with the audience that follows.

“That’s something the audience normally doesn’t get to do,” Klose said.

Tickets are $5 and available at the door.

As for regional festival day, the day begins (for the audience) at 9 a.m. with some opening remarks and an introduction to Block One.

Two performances – Manchester Memorial (Bad Auditions by Bad Actors, 9:25 a.m.) and Bow High (Common Ground, 10:25 a.m.) make up Block One.

After lunch, Windham (Luck of the Draw) and Manchester West (The Dining Room) take the stage.

And Concord High makes up the entirety of Block Three, following dinner. Awards will be given out following a dance, at 9 p.m.

Ticket pricing varies depending on what you want to see.

For an all-day pass that allows you to watch all six shows will cost $20. Block One shows are $9, and it will be $14 for Block Two performances. Block Three tickets (which we remind you is just for Concord High) and any individual show will be $5.