Olympic Heights Drama Shines at Districts, Will Be Staging Fall Play at State Festival

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Olympic Heights Drama Shines at Districts, Will Be Staging Fall Play at State Festival

The Olympic Heights Drama Troupe 4992  wraps up another successful year.

The Olympic Heights Drama Troupe 4992 wraps up another successful year.

The Olympic Heights Drama Troupe 4992 wraps up another successful year.

The Olympic Heights Drama Troupe 4992 wraps up another successful year.

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The Olympic Heights theatre department wowed the judges at the District X Thespian Competition on December 1. Out of the 59 participants, the Mighty Lions’ Troupe 4992 won 16 Excellents, 17 Superiors, five Critics’ Choice Awards, and had troupe member Brian Araujio named an alternate district representative. All of these talented students poured their heart and soul out on the stage, and their director Ms. Kimberly Coyle could not be happier with the results of all their hard work.

Kayla Asutoy received a Critics’ Choice Award with her best friend and co-president Ashton Bianchi in their duet acting piece entitled Boy Meets Girl. “My last districts was my best districts! I’m so thankful that I got to spend the last four years doing what I love with my best friends,” exclaimed Asutoy, the troupe’s co-president and aspiring actress. “I’m so proud of myself and everyone else this year. We did amazing!”

Bianchi not only received a Critics’ Choice Award for his duet with Asutoy, but his pantomime with Brian Araujo also won over the district judges. “Districts this year was an absolute blast! I’m glad I got to spend my final year at OH with my favorite people doing the things I love,” Bianchi said. “I am so glad I got to be president of such a hard-working and talented troupe”.

Hannah Berkowitz won a Critics’ Choice Award for her student directed scene starring performers Jade Krickstein, Isabelle Eisenberg, Cameron Grippo, Gustavo Camargo, Asutoy, and Bianchi. “I’m so thankful to my cast. Their hard work and dedication means the world to me,” Berkowitz commented. “I put 110 percent into this piece, and I am so happy the judges were able to see that.” Berkowitz is the 6th consecutive OH drama troupe member to receive a Critics’ Choice Award for a student directed piece at the district level.

It is very rare that freshmen earn a Critics’ Choice Award at districts, so Troupe 4992 was extremely proud of Krickstein and Madison Sklar when they received the award for their duet acting piece Parallel Lines. “It was definitely a learning experience as a freshman,” Sklar said. “It was great to have the opportunity to bond with members of the troupe.”

Araujo was ecstatic to find out he won district alternate for his solo musical “Buddy’s Blues.” This means out of all the performances presented in the entire district, the judges thought his comedic performance was so good that if the winners are not able to perform at the District Representative showcase that takes place in Tampa this spring, Araujo will go up as their replacement.

The entire troupe is extremely proud of their star performer and Araujo is extremely honored to get recognition for all the work he put into his piece. “I never did a solo at districts before, and I never once thought that “Buddy’s Blues,” this silly song I found on YouTube would ever be such a successful performance of mine,” Araujo explained. “If it wasn’t for the sheer love, support, and positive essence that I received from all my friends and troupe members, and of course our brilliant director Mrs. Kimberly Coyle, there is no way I could’ve pulled off such an epic performance.”

Additionally, Troupe 4992 recently learned that their fall production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time has been selected out of the entire state of Florida to be performed at the Florida State Thespian Festival in March “Main-staging a production is the highest honor a high school theatre department can achieve,” explains Coyle. “Our actors and technicians continue to rise up above the rest with their hard work, relentless dedication, and most importantly positive attitude, grace, and class. I am beyond proud and grateful!”

Overall, the talent and heart in the Mighty Lions Theatre Department continues to be a main factor in all of their successes. This family is extremely proud of themselves and their classmates for such an incredible weekend, which would not have been possible without their director and motivator Ms. Coyle.

Troupe 4992 is now continuing to improve their pieces and prepare them for the state competition, as well as rehearse for their winter production of the musical Rent to be staged Jan. 25 and 26 at 7:00pm, Jan. 27 at 2:00pm, and Jan. 28 at 3:15pm.

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