The Wynn drama club won gold at the 2023 Massachusetts Middle School Drama Festival

The Wynn drama club won gold at the 2023 Massachusetts Middle School Drama Festival sponsored by the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild. Tewksbury played host for the first time, and the Wynn production of “Fire Exit” earned the students the highest level of recognition at the festival. (Paige Impink photo)

TEWKSBURY — The Wynn middle school play­ed host to the 2023 Mas­sa­chusetts Middle School Drama Festival on Sun­day, May 7, with five schools in Massachusetts participating in the day-long event. Middle school theater groups from Lynnfield, Waltham, Fox­borough, and Townsend came to Tewksbury to perform their under-40-minute plays in front of judges from the Massa­chusetts Educational Theater Guild.

Adjudicated by indepen­dent drama teachers, the student companies performed short productions and were assessed delivery of their whole production, including acting and technical criteria.

“In this festival, schools are judged against a set of guidelines, not each other,” said Wynn drama director Jon DiPrima.

DiPrima is an English teacher and has been the leader of the middle school drama program since 2015.

The Wynn company, com­prised of 37 cast and crew, performed “Fire Exit” by Stacie Lents, the story of what appears to be a prank gone wrong. Told through a series of monologues, the truth emerges and kids and ad­ults open up about their lives. Five Wynn students received All Star Comp­any awards for their work, including Kevin Daigle, Blake Adams, CJ Zwirek, Grace Kennedy, and Jake Gigante. 

Parent Carla Shattuck from the McDevitt middle school in Waltham was excited for the festival.

“This is the first time our school has participated and we’ve just loved the camaraderie. The school did an amazing job hosting everyone.”

In addition to the individual awards, the Wynn took gold in the festival for its overall execution of its production, according to the METG rubric. DiPrima is grateful for supporters of the program.

“In a town that values team sports, this team per­formed perfectly toge­ther. These players don’t have helmets and pads, yet they stand out on stage, vulnerable, and hold their own against the competition every time,” said DiPrima. “I’m so proud of these kids.”

METG had 32 member schools participate this year competing at five sites around the state. METG offers workshops for students and teachers, individual contests, and scholarships as well as advocating for arts education in schools.

The festival was supported by Wynn middle school drama parents and the TMHS booster club, along with current and former high school drama club members, led by Maureen Castigli­one. Parent Brian Adams was on hand to help.

“The kids put so much into this and really rose to the occasion. I’m really happy to be here to help out,” said Adams.

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