One Act 2018 - 'Jack, or The Submission' by Eugene Ionesco

MDI Drama's FIFTIETH Competition One Act Play!

Photo credit - Chris Dougherty

MDI Drama's production of Eugene Ionesco's Jack, or The Submission is the 2018 Maine Class A State Champion. This marks the second year in a row and the tenth time in its history that MDI Drama has won a state championship 



Class A Champion • 2018 Maine State Drama Festival 

https://sites.google.com/a/mdirss.org/mdidrama-2-0/MDI-Drama-home/one-act-play-2018/29744984_10155162488796784_2194122903070892608_o.jpg?attredirects=0
Total score 270/300  

All Festival Cast 
  • Desmond Reifsnyder as Jack
  • Emerson Jeffery as Father Jack
  • Ethan Leonard as Father Robert
  • Rosie Avila as Roberta I & II
Special Commendations
  • Excellence in Dance Sequence and Choreography - Rosie Avila
  • Excellence in Mask Design - Piper Charron
  • Excellence in Mask Design and Construction - Piper Charron and Ensemble
  • Excellence in Video Design and Operation - Piper Charron
  • Outstanding Lighting Design and Operation - Evelyn Zumwalt 
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State Judges’ Comments

https://sites.google.com/a/mdirss.org/mdidrama-2-0/MDI-Drama-home/one-act-play-2018/2018%20state%20one%20act%20recognition.jpg
Janet Ross 
(91/100) -- "Actors employed stylized movement and gestures with grace and control and much humor." "Characters were clearly delineated with specific styles of speech and movement. Excellent comic timing." "The ensemble worked as a well oiled machine -- the cast was fully committed and engaged." "Well paced –- a melodramatic absurdist/farcical romp." "Actors rose to the challenge of a very stylized piece of theater." "Blocking was specific to each character and stylized to stay true to the playwright's intent." "The lighting enhanced the action and didn't detract. Good use of music and intercom. Seamless and supported the action . . . Eye candy from start to finish." "Masks were a clever convention to employ -- well designed and constructed." "This play was a pure delight. An absurdist romp from start to finish! A cast that was fully committed combined with outstanding technical elements. A seamless production -- congrats and thank you!"

https://sites.google.com/a/mdirss.org/mdidrama-2-0/MDI-Drama-home/one-act-play-2018/29352022_10156172791608905_1353508307732087359_o.jpg?attredirects=0

Linda Rice 
(90/100) -- "Gestures and use of body well done – helping to create each character."  "Movement was clearly defined, making each character [unique]." "Individual performances were outstanding by all -– the Jack family vs. the Robert family –- one bigger and funnier and more absurd than the next." "Great pace without being monotonous."  "Understanding Ionesco -- who really does? I thought your interpretation was really fun and coherent." "Characters were over-the-top, exaggerated, absurd – spot on." "Loved the set." "Lighting was executed well. Supported the action without being obvious. The masks which are more costume and make up were very successful." "Each performer convinced me that they completely believed in Ionesco's world –- all were totally immersed in the abstract. Because the cast believed it and the designers illustrated it I as an audience member was right there with you."


Martin Swinger (89/100) -- "Gesture was very nicely done." "Outrageous and expressively bizarre." "Actors really gave themselves to play. Great ensemble." "Loved the broad movement and stage pictures. Jack's posture and face and chair kept me grinning." "Good blocking." "All were committed to their roles. Great ensemble. Very well unified production -– every element tweaked to the edge. Very clever. Thanks for going all the way in."


Other notes: 

https://sites.google.com/a/mdirss.org/mdidrama-2-0/MDI-Drama-home/one-act-play-2018/Screen%20Shot%202018-03-30%20at%206.37.26%20AM.png
Jack, or The Submission
is MDI Drama's fiftieth competition one act play and earned the program's​ tenth state drama title (1969, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1996, 2017, 2018), and represents​ the first time since 1978 -- ​in ​forty years -- that MDI Drama has won back-to-back titles in state competition, ​as well as the third time this has happened overall (1971-72, 1977-78, 2017-18) based on extant program information.


This is the first time that both MDI Drama and Ellsworth​ High School​'s "​Mad Jesters"​ have brought home Maine ​State Drama Championships in the same year.

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​ ​


Class A Champion • 2018 Eastern Regional of the Maine Drama Festival 

https://sites.google.com/a/mdirss.org/mdidrama-2-0/MDI-Drama-home/one-act-play-2018/29103560_10156128790103905_7289386183732232192_o.jpg?attredirects=0
MDI Drama's production of Jack, or The Submission is the 2018 Eastern Maine Class A Champion and will advance to the State Drama Festival at​ Windham High School​ on March 23-24. MDI Drama has advanced to the State Drama Festival eight of the past nine years.

MDI Drama placed five actors in the all-festival cast -- Desmond Reifsnyder, Ethan Leonard, Rosie Avila, Rawl Blackett and Dezi Zaman -- more than any other school in the competition, ​and received special commendations for mask and video design (Piper Charron) and dance and choreography (Rosie Avila). 
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Total score 287/300  

All Festival Cast
  • Desmond Reifsnyder as Jack
  • Rawl Blackett as Mother Jack
  • Dezi Zaman as Jacqueline
  • Ethan Leonard as Father Robert
  • Rosie Avila as Roberta I & II
NOTE: MDI Drama'a Jack, or The Submission was the only production at the regional with more than three all festival cast members 

Special Commendations
  • Excellence in Dance Sequence and Choreography - Rosie Avila
  • Excellence in Mask Design and Construction - Piper Charron and Ensemble
  • Excellence in Video Design - Piper Charron
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Regional Judges’ Comments

Liz Rollins (89/100) -- “What [an] excellent risk . . . kudos.” “I want to see it again.” “Interpretation - you really owned it! Go big or go to the hardware store . . . ” “[Presentation was] extremely unified and bewildering at the same time.” “Brilliant choreography [by Rosie Avila].” “A 1950s Peewee’s Playhouse in a . . . red-fearing fallout shelter . . . I dig that.” “Masks were amazing and extremely effective. Forced some wild gesticulation and physical expression of bizarre poetry.”

Ann Ross (98/100) -- “Body/gesture . . . absolutely brilliant.” “Voices . . . extremely clear, especially with odd pronunciations and accents.” Individual performances “added an insight into [the] world of each character.” “Tech director’s vision clear with location and time.” “The masks are the winner of the costuming.” “Excellent emoting through the masks.” “Beautiful dancing -- establishing relationships and the glee and zealousness of the situation.” “I want to see this again!!”

Jon Kimball (100/100) -- “Excellent work by the whole company.” “[Voice] superbly done!” “Jack (Desmond Reifsnyder) and Roberta II (Rosie Avila) were superb. Every character is perfect.” “The whole company worked as a unit and also kept their characters clear and unique.” “Masks were wonderful.” “Loved the [interpretation] -- really well done.” “Theatre of the Absurd is not easy, but you did it. Great concept -- true to the playwright’s message. You found the humor, the pathos and the absurdity of the modern condition. Loved it!”

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Director's Notes: At the 2017 State Drama Final at Yarmouth High School, I was pretty confident that our production of The Insanity of Mary Girard would win, as I had seen the other plays, and I felt that our ensemble gave one of the best performances of the competition.

At the beginning of this year's production in December, I had some doubts about how well we would do, certainly in comparison to last year's success. We had lost a load of phenomenal talent to graduation, and while we had some extremely capable and committed returnees, I knew we would have a lot of newbies in critical positions: every one of our booth techs were sophomores (with three first-timers on light and sound design and operation) and six of our nine cast members were first-time one act performers. And rather than sticking with the the formula that worked in 2017, I challenged my kids with a bizarre absurdist comedy that required mask work and construction, and very physical commedia dell'arte-inspired acting and choreography -- a complete departure from last year's dark, brooding drama. 

In so many ways, the 2018 championship is a greater accomplishment than the one in 2017. First, not very many of the one hundred or so one act programs in Maine ever win one state title, much less two in a row, which is a testament to the strength of MDI Drama as a whole. The Jack cast and crew grew so much in the three months of the production cycle to achieve the success they did -- in Class A no less -- against some of the best programs in the state (Yarmouth, Falmouth, Lincoln Academy, and defending Class A champ Bonny Eagle). To say I am humbled and proud is the worst sort of understatement, but our accomplishment has still not sunken in.

--Casey Rush





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