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Drama Club Takes Gatsby to Semis

The Drama Club’s presented The Great Gatsby at the 2024 METG Dramafest.

For the first time in 20 years the RMHS Drama Club returned to the METG Drama Fest and moved on to the semi-finals. 

What is Drama Fest?

The Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild’s annual drama festival has existed since 1928. The METG keeps theater alive in Massachusetts.  Although Drama Fest is what the METG is known for, they do so much more than that. The METG advocates for programs, and funding for the arts in public schools. Their programs unifies the performing arts in Massachusetts, and for many students it makes the world feel less small.

Moving on to the Semi-Finals

For “fest” the drama club adapted the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. At the end of the day there is an award show, the judges declare who will be moving on to semi finals, and also grant special awards to the schools. The RMHS Drama Club was in awe of this experience. The Drama Club won several acting and tech awards, as well as a Stage Manager’s Award from the host school. The Stage Manager’s award recognized RMHS for our organization, ease, and work of the company; and, it also recognized our stage manager and president of the Drama Club Sadie Patalano (‘24). Sadie put what we almost all felt into words: “Everyone was just so happy to be there and everyone wanted to see other people do well–it was so refreshing.”

When the judge announced that we would be moving on to Semi Finals the crowd went wild. We felt seen, and later we even won another Stage Mangers award at semis. Mrs. Cunha the director of The Great Gatsby, put this milestone into perspective: “This was an entire state’s worth of other high schoolers–who had similar interests and incredible talent–that were being recognized and validated by professionals all across the state and country for their talents and their skills.” 


Winning a competition is extremely rewarding, but winning awards was not the ultimate goal for the drama club. Throughout the process Mrs. Cunha taught her students that the most important thing is that they are proud of their club, that receiving an award isn’t everything. Although the club wasn’t focused on the accolades they realized the relatability of a competition. Competitions bring all people together. Mrs. Cunha explained, “Everyone can relate to what it feels like to represent your community in a competition.” The aspect of community and family is what the club lives by, with fest the Drama club can make an even bigger mark on the community. “I think community support is the most – is the single most important element of any program in a district,” said Mrs. Cunha. She continued, “So being seen as a value to the families, the school committee, leadership within the administration, the fellow teachers, fellow students of a community–that is the right of every student to belong in their own community.”

 Students have faith that their participation in drama fest will allow the club to gain more community support. T.J. Korwan (‘25), the publicist of the drama club, and the actor who played Tom Buchanan, has hope for more support. “I think this school can definitely encourage more students to join the arts and get involved in the arts because it really is a great opportunity for people who are less competitive in the sense of sports but more wanting to embrace a sense of unity for creation.” 

The arts bring people together

Walking into fest the RMHS Drama Club was anxious about the other schools. They had never been in a sphere like this before. This room of young artists constantly rooted each other on, always giving one another a standing ovation. Mrs. Cunha had similar experiences during her time at fest in high school. “Networking, meeting other students, seeing other just how many students that are out there that have the skill, but then also the validation for just what incredible artists high schoolers can be-that changed the whole trajectory of my life.”

By the end of the day a room of strangers became a room of friends. Students felt like they were getting the validation that they were often missing.  Korwan explained that on that Saturday the drama club family expanded: “We always are there for each other in the end, so in a way we got to expand that family to other towns and that was really really cool.”

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