Drama Club students from GidGalang Kuuyas Naay celebrate after joining the Northwest Zones Theatre Festival in Terrace earlier this month. The students chose 'Look Me in the Eye

Drama Club students from GidGalang Kuuyas Naay celebrate after joining the Northwest Zones Theatre Festival in Terrace earlier this month. The students chose 'Look Me in the Eye

Drama Club students make mainland debut

“Student passion for drama benefits our entire community and that’s great to see,” says Tom Kertes, a Drama Club co-advisor.

All eyes were on Drama Club students from GidGalang Kuuyas Naay when they joined the Northwest Zones Theatre Festival in Terrace.

It was the first time in over 15 years that a Haida Gwaii school got to take the festival stage.

Rather than compete, the Drama Club made its debut by reading ‘Look Me in the Eye’ a one-act play about some strangely obedient teenagers in a future where they all get ‘observed.’

Even as an observer school, GidGalang Kuuyas Naay came home with two honourable mentions from the March 2 4 festival: one for Engendering the Most Goodwill, and another for actor Olivia Favreau’s talent for Making the Page Live.

“I am proud of the students whose hard work and dedication made this trip possible,” said Tom Kertes, who advises the club along with fellow teacher Amanda Buchan.

With Gwaii Trust and the Parent Advisory Committee playing supporting roles, the Drama Club raised $8,000 to cover their travel costs to and from the REM Lee Theatre in Terrace. The school district contributed another $2,000 to support the educational portion of the trip.

With a cast of seven, and student Issy Romas directing, ‘Look Me in the Eye’ is coming to a much closer stage this spring.

In fact, the stage itself is another student project along with a set for the play, students are building a new stage at GidGalang Kuuyas Naay that will improve future performances.

So far, students have raised $250 for the new stage, which has been matched by the Parent Advisory Committee.

Kertes said it’s exciting to see the play coming together.

“Student passion for drama benefits our entire community and that’s great to see.”