Milton drama class sets the bar with "Oedipus Rex" - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Milton drama class sets the bar with "Oedipus Rex"

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As the lights come up on Milton High School's stage, you quickly realize how seriously each student takes their role. Milton High School has won the state festival four out of the last five years.

"We've been really really lucky and I attribute it to the students. Them willing to take risks and challenge themselves to take on some really heavy material. We've done it with everything from 'The Rymers of Eldridge' to Shakespeare's 'Midsummer's Nights Dream,'" says Paul Curtiss, the Theatre Department Director.

"And women in labor scream in pain, but no children are born to ease their pain," says one of the actors.

This year they have taken on Oedipus Rex. It's a Greek play written by Sophocles more than 2,000 years ago.

Senior Nate Dooley plays the lead, Oedipus. Two years ago, you would have found him in the audience.

"We did Grease the fall of my sophomore year and one of my good friends was the lead and I came and watched him and I told myself that I really needed to do this at least to try it," he says.

Acting runs in this family, but Nate says, it was always his dad and little brother Alex who were the stars. This year, Nate and Alex, who's a freshman, share the stage.

"It's been really really fun acting with Alex on stage. Parents love it! To see both their kids on stage," Nate says.

"He's fantastic! Every time he comes out it gives me chills. The things he does on stage are just fantastic," says Alex.

That's high praise from a little brother who says, he never thought he'd see Nate performing!

Alex Dooley/ Freshman 19:47-20:00 Oh absolutely, he was the sports kid and I was the drama kid that did plays and stuff, I played soccer but I wasn't the varsity goalie

Like Nate, Jamie Ferguson got a late start in theater. Her senior year is her first year working behind the scenes.

"I've actually always have been wanting to do it, but I never knew the drama kids very well until my friend Amanda, who's also in tech with me, she convinced me to join and I've loved it. I kind of wish I had started earlier," she says.

Rachel Lavallee plays Jocasta, the Queen of Thebes, who marries her son.

"I really like acting in itself. I love the opportunity to become a different person on stage just for a little while," she says. "Even more than that I just love this group of people. They're my family. It's where I fit in and I wouldn't have any other group of people to spend that much time with."

"It has really helped with with the way I handle myself in front of people, I'm a little more comfortable. It has been one of the better decisions that I have made in my high school career," Nate says.

While each student has been changed and challenged by this experience, as a group they have put Milton High School in the spotlight.

"It's an honor, not only for the kids, but for the town of Milton. We don't always get a lot of recognition and to have a state title in something as fine as the theater arts is great," Curtiss says.

The theater director has been at Milton High School for eight years. During the 90s, he did stage management for the Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis.

The other school representing Vermont at the festival is the Long Trail School.

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