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GHS students part of virtual theater festival



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Gilford High School students are working on their production of "Allerleirauh" that will be recorded and submitted to a virtual version of the New Hampshire Educational Theatre Guild Festival. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
February 17, 2021
Gilford High School students are preparing for a virtual version of a state theater festival that will showcase their talents onstage as well as in video production.

GHS students are preparing a scene from "Allerleirauh" for the New Hampshire Educational Theatre Guild Festival where they will compete against high schools from around the state. GHS has participated in and hoisted the festival for a number of years. Last year at this time students were preparing "These Shining Lives" and "Snow Angels" for the festival when everything was canceled because of the pandemic.

This year's festival will be performed remotely over Google Meet and each of the schools will submit a recording of their performances.

Senior Chelsea Sasserson is directing the production.

"I did the show when I was a freshman," Sasserson said. "The script and particularly this story stood out to me."

"Allerleirauh" is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale with some darker themes. In "Allerleirauh" a king's dying wife makes him promise he will marry a woman as beautiful as her. The king decides the only one who meets that standard is his daughter and seeks to marry her, though she runs away.

"It's interesting to see things targeted to younger people with more mature themes," Sasserson said.

She said she had a vision for this play.

The performance will be recorded at school and submitted to the festival. Sasserson said this production will be a mix of live stage performance and film. She is already experienced with filming. She has been making videos on her YouTube channel since she was in middle school and recently performed another show over Zoom.

Rehearsals started a few weeks ago. Sasserson said she is really happy to have the opportunity to do festival, especially in her senior year. Last year she was part of the festival productions that were canceled with the onset of COVID-19.

"It's really exciting that I still get to do this," Sasserson said.

A few more students will be returning for festival while this will be the first festival for a few others. She said it's nice to get that experience, even if it is in a different format.

Anna Cook plays Allerleirauh.

"She has a lot of innocence about her and she's kind of na´ve to the world," Cook said. "She likes to take charge, but she can't really."

Cook is going into her third festival and is really happy to be doing this.

"I'd much rather have something like this than nothing at all," Cook said.

Tyler Brown plays the king who wants to marry his daughter.

This is his first year in festival and said all his friends were involved before the pandemic hit, including Sasserson who is one of his best friends.

He said it is great to see that side of his friend while also being part of this.

Kathryn Osburn plays Laura, one of the sisters in the group.

"She's kind of the leader of the little friend group," Osburn said. "She's very headstrong and she wants everything to be prim and proper, but the other children are playing."

Osburn was supposed to be in the festival last year.

"It was really fun to be able to do a festival show," Osburn said.

She said she's glad Sasserson is directing it and they have a great group to work with.

Jacqueline Nash plays Heidi, the youngest of a group of sisters who Nash said always wants to be included.

Nash said she is "super thrilled" to do the festival because she wasn't able to take part last year.

"I was hoping that we'd get to do something," Nash said. "I'm super psyched we get to do this scene from the show. They came up with a really good opportunity for festival to feel as normal as possible."

Martin Lord Osman
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