By Paulina Leskow, ’24
One of the early signs of spring at Hanover High School are preparations for the annual METG Festival. The Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild Drama Festival is a competition in which high schools present a one-act play under 40 minutes, with the crew limited to just five minutes to create and break down the set. The performances are judged professionally in daylong rounds, and only a select number of schools are chosen to move on to the next level. HHS began working in January on this year’s entry, The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, and competed against seven other schools in the preliminary round at Marshfield High School on March 4. Their performance was one of four selected to advance to the semifinals on March 18.
The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon by Don Zolidis is about almost every fairy tale known — Cinderella, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel and more — all jumbled up into one crazy, hilarious story. The cast was very excited to present the show, with a mix of performers both new to and experienced in the happy chaos of festival days. In the first round, HHS performed in competition with Duxbury, Marshfield, Hull, Norwell, Hingham, Weymouth, and Ursuline Academy.
“I am happy and nervous at the same time, as this will be my first time performing in front of so many different people from different schools,” Baylor Speckmann, a junior and first-time festival cast member, said early in the rehearsal process. Baylor played Narrator 2 in the production. “There are so many specific parts and movements to memorize, but I know it will work out with the help of the castmates, crewmates, and our director.”
HHS Drama teacher Collin Fahey directed the show, having a few festivals under his belt including the challenging hybrid-style competitions during the height of COVID.
“It is the 90th annual festival this year, and it is very exciting to be a part of such a tradition,” he said. “All of our cast and crew is such remarkable talent, and I can assure you that this will be one of the funniest shows you have ever seen!”
This is the second and final festival for Kaya Bianculli, senior co-president of the Drama Club who will be portraying Narrator 1. “I like seeing different drama departments from other schools perform as well as meeting new people,” she said.
Family and friends attended a dress rehearsal of the show in the HHS auditorium on March 2. The action-packed, hilarious play left many smiling from ear to ear. In the March 4 competition, the performance was not only selected to advance to the next round, the cast and crew won several individual awards. Junior Ian MacDougall earned a nod for outstanding acting; his multiple roles included a hilarious turn as a black raven with the voice of a 1930s gangster. Junior Paulina Leskow was cited for outstanding stage management and versatility, and sophomore Marie Fortier was honored for her role as assistant stage manager.
“I am thrilled to be able to get a view of the show as a crew member, which is completely different to performing as an actor,” said Fortier. “Seeing the sets and props come together is a very fun and memorable moment.”