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Baby-sit on a Friday night and you could get stuck with a brat, says Kinnick High School student Meagan Evertson, who plays the role in a Readers’ Theater rehearsal.

Baby-sit on a Friday night and you could get stuck with a brat, says Kinnick High School student Meagan Evertson, who plays the role in a Readers’ Theater rehearsal. (Allison Batdorff / S&S)

Baby-sit on a Friday night and you could get stuck with a brat, says Kinnick High School student Meagan Evertson, who plays the role in a Readers’ Theater rehearsal.

Baby-sit on a Friday night and you could get stuck with a brat, says Kinnick High School student Meagan Evertson, who plays the role in a Readers’ Theater rehearsal. (Allison Batdorff / S&S)

Ashley Bailey, a 10th-grader at Kinnick High School, prepares for her role in an excerpt from “Antigone” during a rehearsal.

Ashley Bailey, a 10th-grader at Kinnick High School, prepares for her role in an excerpt from “Antigone” during a rehearsal. (Allison Batdorff / S&S)

An aspiring newscaster slips laxatives into the office coffee pot for a shot on television. A nasty boss makes a father miss Christmas. A Shakespearean cuckold whips his book across the room.

This may be unusual behavior for teenagers — but not for the 120 students in town for the 2006 Far East Speech and Drama Festival.

“You can just tell we’re drama students,” said 10th-grader Meagan Evertson.

“With so many of us around, there is never a dull moment,” added 11th-grader Jessica Traufler.

The two Nile C. Kinnick High School students joined teens from 13 Department of Defense Dependents Schools high schools from Japan, South Korea and Guam earlier this month for the annual competition.

Kinnick, located on Yokosuka Naval Base, played host for the first time, said event director Yvette Vandermolen.

“We’ve never had the billeting before,” Vandermolen said. But while nailing down the logistics for the students and their entourages is a huge undertaking, she’s had no trouble finding volunteers to help.

“I honestly don’t know what has sparked such interest,” Vandermolen said. “But everyone I tell about this asks, ‘Can I be involved?’”

One of the volunteers is USS Kitty Hawk Petty Officer 3rd Class Clay Levering who aspires to teach drama or history.

“Working with the kids is fun,” Levering said. “I’m looking forward to the performances.”

Students compete in the drama categories of solo, duo, pantomime, improvisation, ensemble and one-act play. Speech categories are extemporaneous, informative, oral interpretation, original oration, storytelling and Readers’ Theater, which showcases student-authored work.

Their critics are volunteer judges, coaches and, in the case of the storytelling competition, the discerning elementary school children of Sullivans and Ikego Elementary Schools.

Teenagers and drama combine well, says Kinnick drama teacher Wil VanderMeyden.

“Teenagers are at an age where they’re exploring who they are,” VanderMeyden said. “Drama gives them a safe way to do that. They can try on different characters. If they don’t like them, they can slough them off after the performance. If they do like them, they are incorporated into their personality.”

Even if you’re not an actor, live performance is still interesting, said students in an English as a Second Language class who watched one of the competition rounds. It’s different from television and film, where most teens find entertainment.

“You have to imagine what’s happening inside your head,” said ninth-grader Sasha Crofutt.

“You’re a lot closer and can see all of their emotions,” said 10th-grader Sean Samson.

Top awards

Original Oratory: Mike Marbut, Kubasaki. Extemporaneous Speech: Thomas Harwell, Edgren. Informative Speaking: John Craig, Kubasaki. Improvisation: Chris Campbell, Levi Shrader, Kubasaki. Storytelling Solo: Kristle Protacio, Yokota; Chelsey Holder, Edgren; Lisa Choi, Seoul. Storytelling Duo: Lauren Rodriguez, Maria Nash, Kubasaki; Matthew Young, Maria-Aurora Hernandez, Zama. Pantomime: Jessica Traufler, Monique Rose, Kinnick. Oral Interpretation: Melody Rauhauser, Pauline Lee, Seoul; Colby Smith, Edgren. Duo Acting: Victoria Benson, Mike Toliver, Edgren. Solo Acting: Bailey Paschall, Amber Padgett, Kadena; Alex Symes, Samantha Hyson, Kubasaki; Joshua Imlay, Seoul; Jacque Ciprian, Kadena; Brianna Johnston, Guam. Readers’ Theatre: Kubasaki. Ensemble Scene: Seoul. One-Act Play: Seoul. One-Act Best Actor: Alex Symes, T.J. in “Candid,” Kubasaki. One-Act Best Actress: Kristle Protacio, daughter in “Tell Me Another Story, Sing Me Another Song,” Yokota. Best Supporting Actor: Levi Ames, “Interview,” Osan. Best Supporting Actress: Lisa Choi, aunt in “Lost in Yonkers,” Seoul. Best Overall Orator: Lisa Choi, Seoul. Best Overall Actor: Joshua Imlay, Seoul. Best Overall Actress: Tricia Hill, Seoul.


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