Sonia Flew all the way to finals

Crew members prepare the set during their “tech-in” hour”

By Jenny Watts
Staff Writer

After months of hard work, dedication, and sleepless nights, Westford Academy Theater Arts production of Sonia Flew became one of three winners at the Massachusetts Theater Guild’s State Final Competition. This event took place at the John Hancock Building’s Back Bay Events Center in Boston.

This is the fourth year in a row that Westford Academy has won the state competition and is the fifth time in six years.

“I felt so overwhelmed and just blessed when I heard our name being called. I felt so proud of all the hard work we put in and of everyone involved,” said senior Michelle Torto, who played Sonia.

The three-day long competition began Thursday, March 21 and ended that Saturday. Over the course of these three days, fourteen of the state’s top high-school theater productions came together in hopes of being named Massachusetts’s best.

On Friday morning, 84 Westford Academy students and countless props, costumes, and set pieces were hauled into Boston on two busses, nervously awaiting and mentally preparing for their show later that day.

As soon as the busses arrived the group sprang into action, unloading and putting into place their familiar and meticulously designed set. In what seemed like minutes, it was time to perform.

The show went just as they had hoped, giving one of their most dedicated performances.

“That was one of the best performances of your career,” said director Michael Towers to senior Matt Higgins after the curtain fell.

In addition to the plays win on the whole, several members of the crew we called forth to receive individual awards. This included seniors Emily Brown, Nolan Laflamme, and Michelle Torto. Excellence in set design was also awarded to Nick Calow, Meghan Carlyle, Erin Carr, Peter Cialli, Chris Ditmars,  Irene Harris, Katie Levitsky, Lauren Marple, and Dayle Welch,

“To be honest I was completely shocked. I really felt all the shows that performed this weekend were strong and had a chance. I was so honored,” said junior Dayle Welch.

Finally, honorable mentions were awarded to scene partners juniors Renee Craig and Nick Nudler, as well as juniors Jenie Michael and Lauren Marple for their work earlier in the year.

The weekend also included a visit from Sonia Flew‘s playwright, Melina Lopez, who had nothing but praise for the Westford Academy team. Cast and crewmembers alike agreed it was amazing to hear such praise from the play’s author.

After the awards ceremony, the exhausted and elated cast and crew gathered their things from the Back Bay Hotel across the street, reloaded the buses, and headed home.

“I have never been more proud,” said Towers.