Camera’s On, Zoom Ready: CHS Theatre’s DTASC!

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  • Fall DTASC members.

  • Spring DTASC April 2021 “Titus Andronicus” scene: Liz Hanna, Jadyn Perryman, Jade Tresierras

The pandemic’s requirement for remote learning affected many of Canyon’s creative departments this school year. The usual live performances and productions of the CHS Theatre Program were hindered immensely due to the risk of COVID-19. Though their seasonal DTASC competition, which stands for the Drama Teachers Association of Southern California, was still a large success for the 2020-2021 school year.

Canyon High School’s dedicated theatre teacher, Mr. Arthur Miller, commented on the obstacles the program had to overcome for the event. Miller says “DTASC was held virtually this year. Nobody was allowed to be in the same room with each other, and we had to edit/compile the musical scene together voice by voice. Definitely a challenge!”

DTASC is a competition that requires certain elements, Miller explains: “Rules of DTASC: no props, no costumes, only a chair may be used, you have to re-create the play with an 8 minute time limit for large group scenes, 5 minute time limit for small group scenes.”

October 2020, the Fall DTASC performance included Leia Cockerell, Kathryn Hanna, Paris Holmes, Charlotte Richey, Hillary Mujica, Emma Reed, Quizz Swanigan, Alberto Sanchez, Ashley Villa. The group was awarded fourth place in the Musical Category for the scene of “Sweeney Todd.”

With the use of technology and expert editing, all of the performers were still able to coordinate the piece from home. Amazingly, the videos were assembled together, making the musical performance still sound adequately aligned and harmonious. Paris Holmes, a senior at Canyon, played the role of Sweeney Todd; his tone, mannerisms, and dramatization of the character brought life to his character and the melodious number. Another musically talented senior at Canyon, Emma Reed, plays the role of Sweeney Todd’s wife, Lucy Barker. Her parts oozed emotion and her voice remained unmatched throughout the entire performance.

After the Fall semester’s musical triumph, brought about the Spring DTASC in April 2021. Liz Hanna, Jadyn Perryman, Jade Tresierras portrayed the scene of “Titus Andronicus.” The whole performance was virtual, yet the acting remained prioritized and outstanding. In a four-minute long video, Liz Hanna has no lines, but still maintains her emotions through the use of only facial expressions. Following the anger and pleading of the other two arguing characters, portrayed by Perryman and Tresierras, Hanna’s character is executed from the scene. The swell of Hanna, Perryman, and Tresierras acting brought substantial life to the Shakespearean story.

Another virtual Spring DTASC scene from April 2021 included Ffion Osahon and Melissa Ritter’s portrayal of “Hamlet.” Osahon plays Hamlet, while Ritter plays Hamlet’s mother; the duo argue over the death of his father. Hamlet strikes his mother and rages over seeking revenge on his father’s brother, who is the new king. They express extreme sentiments of drama and viciously yell at one another over the dispute at hand.

DTASC was not an easy feat for Canyon’s Theatre Program to participate in this year. Through the help of Mr. Miller and his incredible students, the show continued on. An in-person competition is hoped for by many of the department’s students and staff. From all of CHS, amazing job to the actors who took part in the 2020-2021 DTASC performances and let’s aim for the big stage and spotlight next year!