Rockport High School Drama Llamas move on to Semi-Finals!

On Sunday, March 5th, The Rockport High School Drama Llamas were selected to advance to the Semi-Final round of the 2023 Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild Drama Festival with Beverly Billingsly Takes a Bow.  The play is an original adaptation of the 2003 children’s book of the same name by Alexander Stadler.  

The story centers on Beverly - an elementary school student - who auditions for her very first play, Stormy Weather.  Hoping to earn the lead, Beverly asks lots of questions of her director, solicits advice from family, and even writes her own original audition song.  Despite all her preparations, things don’t go as planned, and Beverly has to learn some very important lessons about what it means to be a part of an acting ensemble.  

Several members of the cast and crew were awarded.  Lila Garrett (as Beverly Billingsly), Morgan Reilly (Shauna), and Jake Timmons (Roland) all won acting awards.  Abby Marshall, Izzy Fortunato, and Julia Sekercan won for their properties and costume design and execution.  Additionally, Benji Koeplin and Lila Garrett won for original music composition and execution.  

Since moving on in the festival, students met with the author of Beverly Billingsly Takes a Bow, Alexander Stadler.  Stadler graciously Zoomed with students after school on Monday, March 13th.  He shared his process for creating the Beverly Billingsly series, answered students’ questions, led them through a drawing exercise, and listened as students sang the original song they crafted for the piece - “The Banana Song”.  

Students were delighted to hear that many of their choices for the adaptation aligned with the author’s sense of his own characters.  The author was equally delighted to hear how students had pulled elements from the three other books in the Beverly Billingsly series to flesh out the world of the play.  

Rockport will take the show to Andover High School on Saturday, March 18th.  Rockport will perform at 10:30 a.m. and will be one of six schools presenting work for consideration in the competitive festival.  Two will advance from the site to the final round in Boston.  To qualify for advancement in the festival, shows must be set up and struck in five minutes and performed in forty minutes or less.