The Skyridge High School drama team earned its third consecutive 6A state title on Saturday (April 22) at Riverton High School. The team members were giddy as their year-long effort and hard work was rewarded with a sweepstakes win for the overall highest point total.
Individually, Skyridge drama students won several awards. In the Humorous Monologues category, Savannah Carrascofinished second and Emma Ashby was third. Gracie Wilcox and Oliver Hudson earned third place in Contemporary Scenes.
In 2020 a state competition was not held but Skyridge won the 5A state championship in 2019.
The state finals can be a grueling competition. Each piece is performed three times in front of three different sets of judges. Those with the highest scores (6-8 per category) go on to perform again in the medal round.
From that, first, second and third place winners are declared. The scores from all performances are tallied and the school with the highest total is named the state champion.
Savannah Carrasco, second place winner, said, “The competition this year was by far the toughest it has ever been. The schools we competed against are extremely talented and I was nervous about who was going to win the championship.
“Winning state felt so rewarding. The feeling of being recognized for your hard work after hours of blood, sweat and tears is always incredible,” she added.
The drama team began preparing for the state competition in early January. They have put in numerous rehearsal hours to enable them to perform at their best level. The team is coached by John Brown, the theater teacher at Skyridge High School.
According to Carrasco, Brown has a “true aptitude for teaching and coaching. He teaches us more than how to act on stage, but how to act in life” with character-building lessons.
Brown said, “We don’t really start working on region and state competitions, specifically, until around January. It is at that point in time that the students start choosing which exact piece they are going to be working on and rehearsing in preparation for the region competition.
“This takes place in early to mid-March. If they qualify for state at the region competition, then they perform that same piece at the state competition.”
Brown builds the theater curriculum around the state competition which includes a wide variety of events. “Because each of these events focuses on a different set of skills and abilities, I use the competition and the related events as a type of scaffolding around which I am able to build a theater curriculum,” he explained.
“We talk about essential standards, we learn processes and work on the necessary performance skills by learning and working on these various event pieces.
“The students have been working towards this event for a number of months. It is one of the things we talk about at the beginning of the school year,” he said.
The state championship celebration included a police escort to Skyridge High School which made the win more memorable.
“The police escort was a memory I will carry for the rest of my life. I am grateful to live in a place that celebrates young artists and their accomplishments. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said Carrasco.
Brown said, “I felt humbled and honored to be the director for these fine young people. As the scores were rolling in throughout the day, we knew it was going to be close.
“When we learned that we had won, I felt thrilled for these students who had put in so many hours and had worked so hard,” he said.
“The students this year are absolutely fabulous. They are hardworking, determined, kind and empathetic, as well as talented and capable. Their success certainly arises from the fact that they are talented, but I think it can be attributed more to their being such good people.
“I frequently tell my students and their parents that I have the best job in the world in getting to work with all of them,” Brown said.