SKOWHEGAN — More than 2,000 students from 70 high schools are expected to participate Friday and Saturday in the 81st annual Maine Drama Festival at eight regional competitions across the state.

The regional competition at Skowhegan Area High School will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, with Central High School of Corinth performing “Oddball.” Erskine Academy will follow with its one-act rendition of “Much Ado About Nothing,” and Lawrence High School’s production of “The Ugly Duckling.” Each play is a maximum 35 minutes long.

In Skowhegan on Saturday, Winthrop High School will perform “The Queen of TE” beginning at 1 p.m., followed by Mt. Blue High School presenting “Let’s Not Speak of Such Things.” Foxcroft Academy will close out the afternoon session with “Haiku.”

In the evening session, Madison Area Memorial High School with perform “Ubu” beginning at 6:30 p.m., and Skowhegan Area High School will present “Bow Down.”

Winslow High School will perform in the regional contest 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Leavitt Area High School in Turner, said festival coordinator Rick Ash.

Other festival locations this weekend are Mount Desert, Camden Hills, Sterns, Freeport, Windham and Marshwood.

Schools compete in two classes: Class A, schools with more than 550 students, and Class B, schools with fewer than 550 students.

At each of the regional competitions, a panel of three judges will decide which performances advance to the state finals, set for March 23-24. The Class A finals will be at Falmouth High School and Class B will be held at Yarmouth High School.

The outstanding performance at each state final will be nominated by the judges to participate in the New England Drama Festival, April 26-28 in Gilford, N.H.

The performance schedules for each of the regional sites are available on the Maine Drama Council website www.mainedramacouncil.com.

A list of regional winners will be posted on the Maine drama council website on Sunday.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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