Advanced Drama acts out at Fullerton College


On March 18-19, Advance Drama and Theater Tech attended the annual Fullerton College High School Theatre Festival where junior Leann Bucknol reached the finals with her dramatic monologue about a black woman whose husband, a police officer, had just shot a white man.

“Reaching finals felt long awaited for me because I had taken this monologue to a previous festival and I received high scores, but didn’t go to finals,” Bucknol said. “I didn’t want to stop there, I really wanted my voice to be heard because I am so passionate about topics like this. It was one of the happiest days of my life to be able to go to finals.”

Students participated in acting and design competitions on campus with some taking place in the theater. Still with plenty of downtime, junior Emma Munguia said she recognized the festival is about more than just a competition.

“It’s basically a two-day event where multiple drama classes from different schools come together to compete for awards,” Munguia said. “Not only do we compete, but we get to meet new people, spend time with each other and participate in different workshops.”

All students in attendance had the option of participating in one or two pieces from different categories: classical or contemporary dramatic scene or monologue, classical or contemporary humorous scene or monologue or 10-minute musical.

Advanced Drama performed “How to succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” which for the purpose of the event was directed by students. Having participated in a humorous contemporary scene, Munguia said she is happy with this year’s showing.

“I think that all of us did very well with our performances, and I feel we brought really great material to the festival this year,” Munguia said.

Meanwhile, those who participated with Advanced Theater Tech had the opportunity to participate in an event called ‘Tech Olympics.” Students are given a specific theme and must then race to perform quick costume and scene changes, just as they would during a regular show.

While the department did not receive any awards, Bucknol’s monologue was a significant person triumph. After having been denied an award at the previous competition due to a technicality, Bucknol worked tirelessly to evolve her character and showcase her passion.

“She is so talented and deserves to get where she did,” junior and participant Leena Bowman said. “Her scene was passionate and powerful and prevalent in today’s society. She has so much potential, and I can’t wait for her to pursue acting even further.”

Drama teacher Cassandra Gaona explained that while the festival does cut into rehearsal time, it does help bring students closer to getter, bringing the trust and chemistry that is so important in a performance.

“I really think it improves the moral and the connection between the students, which I always think is the most important thing,” Gaona said. “It’s hard not having the rehearsal time, but I have to remember that this part is just as important.”

Bowman also explained that the department will have to work on character development in preparation for upcoming competitions. Advanced Drama is hoping to perform more popular and successful plays for the school to enjoy. Overall, the festival was considered a success by participants.
“I immensely enjoyed being able to run around and support my friends while watching other schools’ performances,” Bowman said. “There was a lot of talent and the overall feeling was very laid back and welcoming.”