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Skaneateles places first at Michael J. Harmes Theatre Festival

The cast and crew of Skaneateles High School's "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" took first place in the Central New York Michael Harmes Theatre Festival at Cayuga Community College held April 30. The Students performed selected scenes from their recently performed musical adaptation of the unfinished Dickens novel created by Rupert Holmes.

This is the second consecutive year the Skaneateles High School Drama program has won first place at the festival. Last year's performance of "Pride and Prejudice" also won for overall best performance and overall technical achievement.

Nearly the entire cast took part in the festival and did an outstanding presentation, winning first place for overall performance as well as receiving individual awards of recognition. Junior Gabriella Whiting won the NYSTEA Student Conference Scholarship, and Senior Dan Lemp received recognition for his outstanding "Energy, Engagement & Commitment" to his performance.

The cast and crew for the festival included: Dan Lemp, Maddie Legg , Daniel Kringer, Nick Kochan, Allie Hagen, Gabriella Whiting, Ryan Nicholson, Phoebe Yates, Amelia O'Hara, Jeffrey Kringer, John Watt, Ryan Terhune, Leia Depeche, Ben Cooper, Dylan Baker, Haley Cox, Ella DeFalco, Christina Marshall, Alex Peterson, Miranda Proctor, Teresa Richardson, Adam Leesman, Matt Payne, Lucano Petrocci, Colin Wentworth, Juliana Augustine, Greg Huba, Melanie McElroy, Gillian Frame, Emily Cosbar and Katherine Alexander

The Michael J. Harms Theater Festival is an annual event run by the Cultural Resources Council that features performances from area school and community groups. The groups performed 30 minute selections throughout the weekend and were adjudicated by a panel of judges, consisting of area theater professionals. Individual and group commendations were awarded at a banquet following the event.

The festival also featured several afternoon workshops on dance, college auditions, acting and scenic painting. This year Skaneateles alumni Daniel Ozminkowski returned from his successful career in New York City and touring to lead workshops in theatrical lighting for the festival. Local Professional Actor and S.U associate professor Kevin Shumway led the students in improvisation workshops.

The Michael Harms festival provides a rare opportunity for theater kids to display their outstanding acting and technical achievement in front of their peers and professional theater practitioners. The program has gained wide recognition as a theater experience of high educational value and fun.

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