Program and Production History

I started researching the history of MDI Drama in 2012 after a long conversation with several very active and long-time drama participants. None of them had any idea about the early history of the drama program at our school; in fact, few of them could even name the productions that had immediately preceded their involvement. Mount Desert Island High School boasts a deep and rich theatrical tradition which continues to this day, and for it, in the eyes of 
our current thespians, to fade into obscurity, to simply become so much stuff that happened a long time before they were involved in the program –- or even born –- is a shame.

Much of the information about the early years of the drama program is derived from a review of the (mostly complete) collection of MDIHS yearbooks housed in the school's library. Often, however, it is unclear which non-musical shows were presented as one act competition or full length productions. In addition to this, the yearbooks don't seem to specify the titles of or include details about all MDIHS productions that may have occurred in a given year. Some editions only provide a collage or two of production/performance photos and no accompanying show information at all. For the sake of consistency, if only one non-musical production is named in the yearbook I have recorded it, perhaps inaccurately, as the competition one act. Also, it is not always clear who was the director of productions from the George Demas/Joyce Higgins years. In all instances in which there is no clear contradictory information available I have drawn the conclusion that George Demas served as director.

In addition to these difficulties, eight of the program's ten state championship plaques are nowhere to be found on our campus, nor were they around when I arrived in August 1998. We do have many of the regional championship/finalist trophies, but probably not all. Sadly, the Maine Drama Council has very little available information available regarding past champions or participants in the New England Drama Festival, so that is not a deep source of information that I may utilize. My best resource is the collective memory and collected memorabilia of the countless actors, techs and staff members who have participated in the program over the past fifty years. 

My ultimate goal is to create a webpage on MDIDRAMA.ORG for each production that features cast and crew info, the original program (if available) and production photos. Please send additional production information, competition results, programs (.pdf), photos (.jpg, .gif, etc.) and/or updates and corrections to The more specific the information provided, especially with production/performance photos, the better.  

I would like to wish a special thanks to the following MDIHS and/or MDI Drama alumni and staff for their input and ongoing assistance with this effort: 

Frank Bachman, Burt Barker, Melissa King Burkart, Brooke Richardson Cahilly, Laurie Carpenter, Ryan Corliss, Chrystine Weymouth Emeigh, Diana Faust, Charlene Garrison, Nancy E. Graves, Kate Good-Smith, Matt Hochman, Tammie Butler Hooper, Emily Johnson, Joe Lewis, Robin MacDuffie, Richard E. MacPike, Peter Miller, Joe Marshall, Rob Marshall, Susan Taylor, Anna Smith, Mark Smith, Michelle Solomon, Dan Stillman, Larry Sweet, Jennifer Knudsen Tully, Sheila Wilensky and Sam Worden. 

Please feel free to contact me at my school email (linked below) or through our Facebook program pages to share verifiable program info of which I may not be aware.

Thank you,

Casey Rush, MDI Drama Director 

P.S. Special thanks to Thomas Heath of the Maine Drama Council for beginning the compilation of the recent history of the Maine Drama Festival (including MDI's recent state titles in 2017 and 2018).


Photo Matt Hochman            

The MDI Drama State Championship banner displayed on the front of the tech booth 
in the Higgins-Demas Theater, May 2018.


MDI Drama State One Act Champions

1969  1971  1972  1974  1977  1978  1983  1996  2017  2018 

MDI Drama Regional One Act Champions/Finalists

 1969  1970  1971  1972  1973  1974  1976  1977  1978  1979  1981  1982  1983  1984  1988 
1994  1995  1996  1997  2000  2006  2010  2011  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  2018 

Seasons with incomplete listings: 

1980-1981, 1981-1982, 1985-1986, 1988-1989, 1989-1990, 1992-1993, 1993-1994

Updated: 19 August 2018

Casey Rush,
Sep 29, 2013, 11:30 AM
Casey Rush,
Sep 12, 2017, 7:40 AM