UHS Theatre Arts Wins Awards at CETA High School Theatre Festival


Faraaz Aziz, Staff Writer 

The California Educational Theatre Association (CETA) High School Theatre Festival took place on January 16, in which UHS Theatre Arts participated with a one-act play called “Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread.” At the festival, multiple UHS artists won awards, and the cast and crew from “Philip Glass” won third place in the state. 

This was UHS’s first time participating in the CETA awards as UHS could not participate in previous years due to conflict with other events and difficulties with a long commute. In place of CETA, UHS Theatre Arts usually participates in the RoleAbout Theatre Festival and the Fullerton College High School Festival. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, CETA held the festival and awards ceremony virtually on Zoom, and UHS was able to make a debut at the CETA awards. The festival began with a short watch party in which casts from different schools wished each other good luck, proceeded to view the pre-recorded plays from different schools, and finally ended with an award ceremony. 

UHS Theatre Arts students were able to put together a virtual performance of the play, “Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread.” The play compares the story of a man’s desire for love to his actions of making a loaf of bread. Cast members filmed their own individual parts and worked with Univision to create the performance that won multiple awards. 

“[the experience had] a rough start but ultimately came down to a wonderful product,” junior Owen Stapp said. 

With this year’s online version of CETA, a new aspect of theatre was introduced: video production. The online submission of “Philip Glass” did not require a live performance, so video production was a key factor in the success of the play. Senior and Univision member Alice Chiang was the main contributor for editing the play, helping UHS place third nationally for the virtual category. 

“In this edit I had a lot of symmetry, kaleidoscope, and reverse effects. The edit was a lot of fun to make because I got to play around with the effects,” Chiang said. 

In addition to Chiang’s video editing, senior Sydney Spencer also helped with the production of the play. 

“There were no lines, but instead vocal parts that I mixed and added original composition to,” Spencer said. 

There were thirteen UHS students involved in “Philip Glass,” and five separate UHS student members won other awards. Junior Scott Burke won an award for his performance as Chuck I, II, and III in “Art of the Fugue,” a short play in the collection of plays, “All in the Timing.” Burke’s online performance, which took place earlier this school year, was about a man who went on virtual dates with three women at the same time. 

“Each adjudicator nominated a student they felt deserved to be recognized for their achievement,” Burke said, after receiving the Adjudicator’s Award for his performance. 

Burke was the only UHS junior to win the Adjudicator’s Award for his acting. Others who won awards include senior Olivia Biase for the Senior Scholarship, and seniors Audrey Moore and Zaman Merchant for Adjudicator Awards.