Jesuit High School's stage performers are setting new standards in competition this fall.
A school-record 17 students, led by Jesuit's Theater Director, Richard Miller, participated in the District competition this past weekend (Oct. 7) at Blake High School, setting additional school marks with 15 total events and 8 Excellent ratings, and also earning 5 Superior ratings.
The Superior ratings all qualified for the March 14-17 Florida State Thespians Festival in Tampa. They are:
- Duet Acting – Riley Buchanan '20 and George Morgan '18 for "True West"
- Monologues – Buchanan for "Hamlet" and "Picasso at the Lapin Agile"
- Monologues – Jimmy Grammig '21 for "Servant of Two Masters" and "Moon Over Buffalo"
- Monologues – Jack Mahoney '18 for "Biloxi Blues" and "Glengarry Glen Ross"
- Monologues – Morgan for "Othello" and "Baby With the Bathwater"
Grammig is the first Jesuit freshman to qualify for the State Festival in a solo event. Buchanan qualified last year as a freshman as part of an ensemble.
The following Jesuit performers received Excellent ratings at District:
- Ensemble Acting – Xander Arena '20, Nicholas Asher '21, Patrick Byrns '20, Chris Gold '19, Joseph Lopez '21, Marino Matthews '20, Nico Smyth '21 for "The Front Page" (a rehearsal of "The Front Page" is pictured on the homepage, L-R Matthews, Asher, Smyth [standing], Arena, Byrns, and Lopez)
- Duet Acting – Mahoney and Harrison Redd '18 for "Death of a Salesman"
- Duet Acting – Asher and Lopez for "No Exit"
- Duet Acting – Arena and Matthew Starkey '20 for "Lend Me a Tenor"
- Duet Acting – Gold and Frank Kantor '21 for "The Odd Couple"
- Monologues – Redd for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Of Mice and Men"
- Solo Musical – Tyler Brownrigg '21 for "Stick it to the Man" from "School of Rock"
- Scene Design – Daniel Youakim '20 for "Time Stands Still"
Two additional District entries in playwriting, by Gold and Matthews, will be judged in December.
The strong results demonstrate the continued growth and development of Jesuit's performing arts program. The school's longtime drama club, the Jesuit Masque, was bolstered in 2014 by Jesuit joining the International Thespian Society. Jesuit thespians compete in District and State competition as Troupe 8059.
In 2015, the school added a Theater Arts class taught by Miller, which is now in its third year. And in 2019, Jesuit will break ground on a state-of-the-art Fine and Performing Arts Center, which will include a beautiful new theater to provide improvements in space, lighting, and acoustics for Jesuit's stage performers.
Later this fall from Nov. 9-11, the Masque will perform FOOLS by Neil Simon, with four shows over the three days in the MPR.
The 17 Jesuit District competition performers, with moderators Richard Miller and Brendan Graves, at Blake High School on Oct. 7.