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Aurora H.S. Drama Team Places Top 12 in National Theatre School Drama Festival
News Release
Aurora H.S. Drama Team Places Top 12 in National Theatre School Drama Festival
Aurora, ON – The Aurora H.S. drama team spent the past school year developing an original, collectively created 30 minute play titled, Womanly. The theme of the play is based on the concerns of status of woman in today’s society and is originated from student interest in the #metoomovement and woman’s march which took place in January 2017.
The Aurora H.S. drama team entered the play into the National Theatre School Drama Festival and began by winning the district showcase, qualifying them to move on to the regional showcase at York University on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. The performance at the regional showcase earned the drama team four Awards of Excellence, including two Outstanding Production Awards. After performing at the regional showcase, the Aurora H.S. production was chosen to move on to the third and final stage of the festival, the Ontario Showcase. The Aurora H.S. drama team is the first YRDSB school to win this honour under the new title sponsor, the National Theatre School, and was one of 12 schools, out of over 300, invited to perform.
At the Ontario Showcase on Saturday, May 12, 2018, the Aurora H.S. drama team opened the festival by performing in the first slot and received another Award of Excellence in Ensemble Work.
“I am extremely proud of our students and Mr. Castrounis, the Head of our drama department. This is Aurora High School’s first year participating in the National Theatre School Drama Festival and the students created their own play conveying a powerful message on gender equality, said George Voumvakis, Principal of Aurora H.S. “They collaborated exceptionally well, focusing on the goals of the team above all else. I was amazed by the success of their two performances.”
“I have been deeply impressed by the dedication, professionalism, and resilience shown by my students in their quest to get to the Ontario Showcase of the NTS Drama Festival. It was not an easy path but it sure was a fulfilling one,” said John Castrounis, Subject Head of Dramatic Arts at Aurora H.S. “Through their open-minded creativity and ever-yearning desire to make the play better, these students have exemplified the essence of not only the creative process, but the power of theatre to compel and communicate. Their effort is a powerful reminder of what can happen when ‘the work’ is given priority over the individuals involved.”
“Big business, post-secondary, even Google have recently discovered that soft skills; creativity, empathy, innovation are what students need to cultivate to be world ready. As a system of educators, we are constantly searching for ways to establish inclusive, anti-oppressive learning communities that exercise and support student development of these soft skills,” said Lazaros Geronikolos, Curriculum Consultant, Arts. “The Drama Department at Aurora High School have made an example of how schools can build the inclusive, safe, anti-oppressive space it takes to cultivate authentic, provocative, genuine student voice.”
The National Theatre School Drama Festival provides a showcase for drama students to demonstrate their unique work and brings together a large community to view, discuss and enjoy each other’s creative efforts. It facilitates and inspires a love of dramatic literature, team work, problem solving, originality and entrepreneurship.

York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 124,000 students in 177 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about the York Region District School Board, please visit the Board website and follow @YRDSB on Twitter.


For more information contact:
John Castrounis                                                                                      Dale Brusselers
Subject Head of Dramatic Arts, Aurora H.S.                                        Corporate Communications
905-727-3107                                                                                            905-727-0022 Ext. 2521                                                       


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