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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WATA wins awards for ‘Disgraced’ and moves onto finals of the METG festival

provided by Maeve O’Toole
The cast and crew of ‘Disgraced’ pose with the semi-final trophy.

Westford Academy Theater Arts [WATA] will be moving on to the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) finals in Boston, taking place from Thursday, March 21 until Saturday, March 23. It will be a three-day event where WATA will compete against other high schools that have also moved past semi-finals in Massachusetts. In total, ‘Disgraced’ has won thirteen All Star Awards and could receive more at the finals.

Before making it to the finals, WATA won both individual and department awards in the METG festival for the show ‘Disgraced’. On Saturday, March 2, the show’s cast and crew went to the Preliminary round, and won nine All Star Awards, making it to the semi-finals in the process. Just a week later, they won four more at the semi-finals.

The average amount of awards schools receive is five, with there being eleven awards in total that could be given to a single show. In the Preliminaries, WA won nine awards in the following categories: five in Excellence in Acting, Excellence in Technical Set-up Design, Excellence in Technical Theater Sound Design, Excellence in Technical Theater Lighting Design, and finally, Excellence in Technical Theater Property Design.

“I wasn’t expecting the amount of awards that we got because, usually you just don’t see that,” senior Aamir Kapasi, who plays the lead, said. “I learned [that it’s] a little bit abnormal that in our preliminary round we got so many awards but I think it just serves to show the merit of the show.”

Sophomores Zain Irfan, Viktoria Kariuki and seniors Aamir Kapasi, Josh Lawrence and Gabriela Sanders were among those individually recognized for their outstanding acting. The play’s set-design, sound, lights, and props departments were all given their own awards as well.

In the semi-finals, WA won the property design award and the set-design award again. Along with those two awards, Kapasi and Kariuki were both given recognition again for their performances as Amir and Jory respectively.

All of the students involved in the play worked diligently to be their best, and the bond that the cast and crew have created is evident.

“The [awards] that I had a bigger reaction to and I was more excited about were the ones that other people got that I was so proud of, because I’ve seen the work that they’ve done over the past few months,” Kapasi said.

The members of the play also have a large sense of community to compliment their bond, and make sure that all people involved get a chance to shine.

“Everyone that works on this show brings something new to the table and we couldn’t do it without any of them,” junior and assistant director Maeve O’Toole said. “We all contribute to the show in a very big way.”

Along with the All Star Awards that the other students won, the host school at the semi-finals awarded Ethan Mandile for Excellence as Stage Manager. This award was determined by the host school’s own stage manager, who chose Mandile to be the lone recipient of this award.

Collaboration between cast and being respectful to the other schools are all factors that determine the winner of the Excellence as Stage Manager. The complete cast and crew of ‘Disgraced’ has over sixty people combined. The stage manager’s job is to make sure that everyone else can do their job properly, ensuring the play goes as smoothly as possible. 

Since the stage manager award is essentially about how well all students involved in the play work together, winning it is often seen as something all members have worked to achieve.

“[The award] just happens to get one name on it, but it’s really the whole team,” Mandile said.

The cast and crew are proud of their awards but are more proud of the show itself with all the work that they put in to create it.

“Awards aren’t a super big thing for me— I don’t need a certificate to tell me our show is beautiful. Every department did incredible work whether they were officially recognized or not,” sophomore Grace Hinkle, who was involved in the props and set manipulation, said. 

The show explores the hidden biases that people tend to have and how it affects different relationships. ‘Disgraced’ was picked to perform since it conveys messages that most people aren’t talking about enough. 

According to Kapasi and O’Toole, the show has been a life changing experience for the cast and crew of ‘Disgraced’, just as much as it was for the audience members who got to watch it. 

“This has definitely been my favorite show I’ve ever done on WATA because of the family that we’ve created,” O’Toole said.

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About the Contributor
Marika Kanayama
Marika Kanayama, Staff Writer
Hi. My name is Marika Kanayama, and I am a sophomore at WA. It is my first year on the Ghostwriter staff. I sometimes like to read books, sleep and enjoy snacks. I also like to travel and enjoy learning new things. I am excited for what this year brings.

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