Rossignol drama team attends provincials

Ile-a-la Crosse’s Rossignol High School was the winner at this year’s Northern Drama Festival with its comedic take on the story of Robin Hood in the play titled Robbing Hood. Seen here, in no particular order, are Leah Ahenakew, Mallory Caisse, Sara Rae Daigneault, Sara Gardiner, Hope Desjarlais, Alicia Dawn, Shayna Burnouf, Dakota Laliberte, Jake Laliberte, Natasha Mclean, Nicholas Belanger, Nick Gardiner, Jayden Dore and director Edna Daigneault.

 

by Phil Ambroziak

Call it a show-stopping performance.

Drama students from Rossignol High School in Ile-a-la Crosse competed at the Provincial Drama Festival in Regina May 10-12. And, even though they didn’t win, school staff said the students achieved something even more special.

“They didn’t place, but it was quite an experience for them,” explained drama teacher Edna Daigneault. “They had a chance to take in some workshops and to really see the calibre of drama it takes to reach the next level.”

The students qualified for provincials when they took home the top prize in the fourth annual Northern Drama Festival April 27-28 in Ile-a la Crosse.

This festival saw five northern schools participate, said Judy MacLeod Campbell, program manager for Culture and Community Development with the Northern Sport, Culture, and Recreation District, the organization which runs the festival.

The North is a strong pool for the dramatic arts, she added, and it has been a tradition and favourite pastime for many residents throughout the years.

The other northern schools to participate in the festival included Twin Lake School in Buffalo Narrows (The Randomness of Heart, a comedic drama by Ashley Petite and Shayden Petit), Charlebois School in Cumberland House (Waiting for John Doe, a comedy by Duncan Ball), Minahik Waskahigan School, Pinehouse (Mayor Pig MIA, a comedy written by the Pinehouse directors and youth), and Chief Moses Ratt School in Sucker River (The Huge Lake Trout, a comedy by Karen Maxwell and Rochi Sanderson).

Drama, said MacLeod Campbell, has quite the history in the North, but until a few years ago, the Northern Drama Festival didn’t exist for schools in the current Region 12.

“The North hasn’t had as much access to drama as other places have, like Prince Albert for instance,” she added. “Even after five years, we are still working on it. That’s why it’s called a project.”

The festival has gained popularity from area schools, MacLeod Campbell continued, so much so the group has had to cap the number of schools wishing to participate. Two years ago, four schools entered the festival, but this year and the one previous, one more was added, she explained.

The festival, she said, allows these young thespians to have the opportunity to meet other students from other schools, and be open minded toward learning new acting techniques and simultaneously, instil more confidence.

“In some of these students, you can really see a future (in acting),” she said, adding, all of the performances were very well done.
“There’s been really good growth in confidence in these groups.”

Daigneault said her students have been practising non-stop after winning the regionals. This is the first time the whole group has performed together, she added.

As a first-time director, Daigneault said it was a big surprise to all of them when they learned they were the winners.

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