Cole students from left to right: Patrick Shenefield, Maddie Jenkins, Lev Simon, Emma Tedeschi, Alexis Shenefield and Ross Simeral.
The Archie Cole Middle School Drama Club has entertained East Greenwich audiences with its recent performances of the junior versions of Annie, Fame, and The Music Man, but last Monday, Massachusetts got a glimpse of Cole talent at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.
The cast and crew of Cole’s April production of Alice in Wonderland, Jr., were delighted to find out that the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild (METG) had nominated Alice for 7 nominations including Best Featured Actor and Actress, Best Hair and Makeup Design and Execution, Best Costume Design and Execution, Best Set Design and Execution, Best Props Design and Management, and Best Overall Production. Two adjudicators attended two of the three performances in order to review it. Cole Drama Club advisor and producer Meggan Shenefield covertly submitted the show to the METG.
“I know how hard the kids work and that the quality of their work is exceptional, but I wanted the kids to hear it from other professional sources,” she explained.
Best Featured Actor nominee, Lev Simon, was nominated for his portrayal of the Dodo Bird. Best Featured Actress, Maddie Jenkins, was nominated for her role as the Caterpillar. They performed the show’s hit Zip A Dee Doo Dah along with Emma Tedeschi who portrayed the small Alice in the show.
“I know they were nervous, but they were well rehearsed and they were great!” said director Kathi Curtis. “It was awesome to see the kids performing like pros before a venue full of their peers.”
In the end, Cole ended up taking home two awards out of its seven nominations: Best Set Design and Execution, and Best Props Design and Management. Members of the crew worked under the supervision and guidance of Norris Culf, Janet Patrick, and Meggan Shenefield, as well as a group of parents.
“We impress upon the kids that to be nominated and placed in the top 5 out of 19 Middle Schools is a win in and of itself,” said Curtis. “We love to see these kids do things they’ve never attempted before.”