The Mount Desert Island High School production of “The Other Shore” earned strong praise from judges at the State Drama Festival. FILE PHOTO

‘Other Shore’ mystifies and impresses

MILLINOCKET — Mount Desert Island High School’s production of “The Other Shore” finished in the middle of the pack at the State Drama Festival last weekend.

The production received A-plus scores from the judges, with Mary Paola and Natalie Rogers winning All Festival Cast honors. The final point total was 239 out of 300.

Max Cornman, Jacob Sanner and Ben Hagle also received special commendations for excellent sound design. Pierce Vincenty and Mason Gurtler were honored for their outstanding video design.

In fact, the judges had a lot of very nice things to say about the performance and the production values of this play.

“The ensemble and individual actors were very strong,” “the set pieces and projections were compelling,” “the soundscape was stunning,” “great stage pictures … evocative and plot focused” and “a beautiful and mysterious piece” were just some of the positive comments.

It was that mysterious thing that two of the judges may have had a problem with, with one commenting that the production was “polarizing because of the content.”

Another judge, Reed Farrar, a teacher in Hampden, gave MDI a score of only 62 out of 100, 25 and 30 points less than the other two judges.

The winner of the competition, Lisbon Academy’s “The Impostures of Scapin” by Moliere, received a total score of 260.

“It was amazing,” said Director Casey Rush. “They absolutely deserved to win.”

MCI of Pittsfield and Lee Academy finished second and third. Ellsworth High’s original play “Bound” was ranked fourth with three more points than MDI.

Although Rush and his students are disappointed they didn’t rank higher in the competition, they did advance from last year’s sixth place. He said he couldn’t have been more impressed with the work and comportment of his cast and tech crew.

“They worked as a unit to turn a challenging script into a beautiful, moving work of art,” he said. “They were supportive and committed throughout the process despite other commitments on and off campus.”

Nan Lincoln

Nan Lincoln

The former arts editor at the Bar Harbor Times writes reviews and feature stories for The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander.

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