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CHS drama team earns gold from Lenaea Theatre Festival
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Gold-medal winning actors from Ceres High School at the Lenaea Theatre Festival were: (left to right), Sebastian Huerta Alvarado, Noemi Flores and Roman Acosta. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Thespians from Ceres High School's Drama Department claimed four gold medals at the annual Lenaea Theatre Festival held last weekend in Folsom.

Program director Stephen Dias took 20 students to the prestigious drama festival at the Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom, which included 70 other area schools. Ceres High School won an overall gold award for their production of Ray Bradbury's one-act "Kaleidescope," about astronauts accidentally set adrift in space. The play centers on what the astronauts choose to talk about in the last moments of their lives. To simulate astronauts floating in zero gravity, spotlights zeroed in on the actor's faces that lit up like projected stars on a darkened stage in the small Black Box theatre. The cast was elevated on black boxes and used their bodies to simulate the tilt and drift of zero gravity.
Senior Ruben Acosta won a gold acting medal for his portrayal of Captain Hollis on the ship.

"Since movement had a lot to do with the play [floating in space], I prepared myself physically by working out so my arms wouldn't get tired while I interpreted what they would look like floating throughout the play," said Acosta.

Noemi Flores and Sebastian Huerta-Alvarado also won gold acting medals for their portrayals of astronauts Stimson and Applegate, respectively.

The one-act team also earned the gold in the category of one-act production.

There were seven other team members who went and performed monologues, duos, and musical auditions but did not place. They were duo players Aaron Alarcon, Karina Jimenez and Gary Dodd. Savana Taylor had a musical audition; and monologue competitors were Maria Diaz, Trinity Morataya and Ana Perez.

Now in its 62nd year, the annual high school festival is designed to advance high school drama students' education by allowing them to share their artistic skills and receive feedback on their work from professional actors, directors, and theater professors. Seventy schools in Northern California participated, bringing 1,500 student actors, musical theater performers, and dancers to perform and attend workshops, said Patricia Fuentez, Mae Hensley Junior High's drama, journalism and yearbook teacher.