Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hoover High, Mann Middle Thespians Meet 'The Bard'

Roberto Gaytan
Award winner Roberto Gaytan, wearing both his medal and his Othello/Star Wars attire.

Mann students at the festival.
Mann students at the festival.

Hoover High and Mann Middle  students met The Bard and many other budding actors, actresses, directors and stage crew members during the recent Student Shakespeare Festival in Balboa Park.

Three students -- one from Hoover and two from Mann --  came away winners in the sixth annual event.

Roberto Gaytan, a junior at Hoover High School, was one of only 10 students recognized as a "Festival Outstanding Actor" by the San Diego Shakespeare Society at Saturday's event. Roberto portrayed the title role in a selection of scenes from Othello, which was set in the Star Wars universe.

Two students from Mann Middle School also received award: Sean Sevilla was awarded Best Dramatic Death and Ariana Johnson was awarded Best Soliloquy.

A total of 15 students participated from Mann. They performed four scenes from MacBeth, focusing on the Witches scene, the murder scene of Banquo and also an argumentative scene between MacBeth and Lady MacBeth. Two performers played Lady MacBeth.

Principal performers were:
  • Anthony Rivers as MacBeth
  • Tiffany Thompson as Lady MacBeth (1)
  • Yesenia Benavidez as Lady MacBeth (2)
  • Sean Sevilla as Banquo
  • Nyadhour Deng as a Witch
  • Jessica Osorio as a Witch
  • Breanna Walker as a Witch
  • Nathan You as Thane Ross
In addition to the festival, students have had professionals visited Mann Middle. Actors Nathan Turner and Anthony Ham, along with producer Patricia Lynch, helped the students with their skills.

For more information about Mann Middle’s growing Drama program, please contact the dram teacher Maria Christodoulou at or (619) 582-8990 ext 4405. 

Hoover's program contact is Laura Williams, drama department co-director, at or (619) 283-6281.