Theatre salutes their winners


(From left to right) Valerie Maybaum, Josh Collins, Alex Cabrera, Kainya Ghiara, Talia Cain, Ethan Beretz, Gunnar Sexton, Ally Mason, and Max Deloach. All the performers stood on stage after their suspenseful performance of Carrie the musical, which within a matter of seconds took audience members’ breaths away. The group performed exceptionally well at their DTASC competition, and despite Salute to the Winners being weeks after that, did not disappoint the crowd that night.

On Monday Nov. 18, the theatre program took their top placing groups from the Drama Teachers Association of Southern California (DTASC) festival to perform at The Salute to the Winners in San Pedro.  These two groups included Open Musical and Retro Radio.

“At DTASC out of 77 schools in our division, we placed fifth,” Mrs. Hall said.  “So that qualified us to take the groups of our choice to the Salute to the Winners and we chose to take our musical group and our Division B which placed first.”

Competing against schools dedicated solely to performing arts raised the level of competition and the difficulty to qualify for Salute to the Winners.

“The fact that we go to these competitions as a regular high school, and our staff is as good or better than other performing arts magnet schools is very rewarding for our theatre program”  Hall said.

One of the two groups Mrs. Hall chose to take to San Pedro was the Division C Musical, who performed Carrie the Musical, a thriller, much different from the other scenes performed at the festival.

“One of the judges from DTASC actually contacted us telling us how much he loved our scene so much that he would pay to see us again,” junior Karinya Ghiara said. “When we found out we would be performing at the Salute to the Winners we let him know and he drove all the way out to see us perform which was absolutely incredible.”

The second of the two groups chosen was from the B Division, a group of three freshman who performed their scene from the comedy Inside a Kid’s Head.

For almost all the performers, this was the first time receiving an invitation to perform at the Salute to the Winners, being it was the first time in several years Carlsbad had been invited to attend. A tradition of firsts continued when the Division B group of three freshmen were chosen to perform at this venue.

“Ms. Hall had never taken a freshman group to the B Division at DTASC,” freshman Rebecca Allen said. “The fact that we won and were able to qualify to to go to the Salute to the Winners hopefully blazed a trail for freshman in the future.”

By getting invited to the Salute to the Winners the theatre program was able to get their name out beyond Carlsbad and expanded throughout all of southern California.

“Our students do all of their own work, whether it’s staging or writing,” Mrs. Hall said. “So when they get evaluated so highly they know it’s their own work and they can take ownership for that honor.”