BY HATTEN ALI
The Bay’s Drama Club has finished competing at the district thespians, and won an array of awards. Senior Isabella Saralegui and president of Cypress Bay Lightning Drama has been participating in Thespians yearly since the seventh grade. Saralegui has not been able to compete every year consecutively due to COVID-19 and a knee surgery that left her in crutches for an extended period of time.
“The whole process is amazing,” Saralegui said. “Performing pieces you pick with your friends and being able to show your hard work to judges is such a fun experience.”
The Bay won various awards at the district Thespians competition. They received four honorable mentions which were in the categories solo musical performance, duet musical performance, pantomime and makeup design. They were also awarded three critics’ choices in student choreography, small group musical performance and duet acting. Their performances all led to 27 superiors for the whole team. One of their senior members, Connor Lirio, was awarded the senior scholarship category for 1000 dollars.
“I am so incredibly proud of how Cypress Bay performed at Thespians this year,” Saralegui said. “Our troupe’s hard work most definitely paid off with our troupe receiving multiple awards.”
Sophomore Yoav Dahan has also been competing in thespians since seventh grade. He was not able to compete in eighth grade due to COVID-19. He did an acting duet scene from the play Almost, Maine with his friend Martin Flores. They received a superior for the scene.
“I just really enjoyed the experience overall,” Dahan said. “I think I got closer with some people, and it was really exciting since this was my first year getting a superior.”
Dahan said that his experiences with Thespians over the years always helped him grow more knowledgeable. He said he always learns something new at the end of every competition.
“It’s a competition with a lot of other South Florida scholars where you get to show your talents and size yourself up against other students,” Dahan said. “You get a lot of adrenaline when you’re up on stage and it fuels you to keep performing.”
American Musical Theatre 1-4, Drama 1 and Advanced Drama teacher Cynthia Lutwin has been teaching at the Bay for 21 years, since it opened. She has been helping students prepare for Thespians for 35 years. Lutwin said that her first experience doing Thespians was in high school, but mentioned that it was a small group of people and less pressure. Now it has grown and become more intense and organized.
“I did theater in high school and college, plus when I first started teaching I was doing community theater,” Lutwin said. “So I use all that experience, all the different things that I’ve learned, to try to make our program here the best that it can be.”
Lutwin said the main factors in the success of the Bay’s theater in thespians are that they are quite prepared and confident in their performances.
“We do checks consistently and they have to perform in front of us to make sure they’re ready,” Lutwin said. “So I think that they’re so prepared that they go into the competition very confidently, and I’m proud of them for it.”