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February 27, 2013

RHS 'Llamas' preview state drama

Rockport High School Drama Llamas are back on center stage.

The school’s theater group has prepared Lisa Loomer’s work “Distracted” for this year’s Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild Drama Festival, and the Llamas will present a preview performance for the public this Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in the John Lane Auditorium at the school at 24 Jerden’s Lane.

This seriocomedy — a play that blends comic and serious moments — follows a modern family faced with modern problems. Nine-year-old Jesse can’t seem to sit still or stay out of trouble. His teacher thinks it’s Attention Deficit Disorder. Dad thinks boys will be boys. But Mama is in need of answers.

The play not only discusses the topic of distractibility in our modern times, but forces the audience to experience it by breaking typical conventions of the stage. At times, the actors will drop character to talk directly to the audience, and shift from scene to scene at lightning speed. And the character of Jesse appears merely a shadow on stage as the play moves from comical to thought-provoking moments.

The 40 cast and crew members will present their work on March 2 at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School.

Rockport will be one of eight schools competing for advancement in the Hamilton-Wenham program, along with The Clark School, Hamilton-Wenham, Nazareth Academy, North Reading, North Shore Technical, Pope John XXIII and Wakefield High School.

Three schools will advance. To qualify for advancement, shows must be set up and struck down with five minutes and must be performed in 40 minutes or less. In total, 112 schools will perform at 14 festival sites throughout Massachusetts.

The RHS Drama Llamas will perform first, at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School on March 2 at 9 a.m. at 775 Bay Road, South Hamilton. Tickets for the festival will be $10 at the door.

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