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Arcadia sets the stage

While Arcadia High School is usually acknowledged for its stellar academic achievements, its theater program is immensely successful as well.

Jacy Duan

Jacy Duan

As a member of Advanced Drama this year, I experience first hand the hundreds of hours of grueling work that go into stage productions. I find myself a part of the most hard-working and dedicated group of people I’ve ever known, motivated mainly by their passion for performance. And, just recently at DTASC, a Southern California high school theater competition involving nearly 100 high schools, this dedication was rewarded when Arcadia High School took first place overall.


AHS Drama students at DTASC competition.

The structure of the Drama Teachers Assocation of Southern California is unique theater troupes from various schools are split into groups to compete in different categories that range from costumes to performing a full-length musical in eight minutes. There’s another catch: students are only allowed to use four chairs as their set and no costumes or props. The competition breeds amazing creativity and focuses on the power of only the actor telling the story, not his or her costume and set.

Arcadia performed spectacularly this year as all of its groups made semi-finals and seven even made it to the top ten in their different categories. With a riveting performance of Medea, one of our groups went on to secure first place in their category and our costume designers also took home gold. I was thrilled that my own group placed third this year as our category was more difficult—we were required to write and perform an original scene from scratch.

Joining theater, especially a program as accomplished as Arcadia’s, gives me an incredible experience that I know will define my high school years. In the Thanksgiving spirit, I am immensely thankful for the support the community and school gives to the arts, such as building the beautiful Performing Arts Center that houses our performances. I hope the school continues to recognize the passions of students beyond the classroom and encourage them as well. Students’ focus at Arcadia High School may be solely academic for some or athletic for others, but for my fellow actors and me, our focus is on the stage.

Please come see our fall play, The Secret in the Wings, showing from November 19-21, 2015 in the PAC at 7 pm. Buy tickets online at!

By Jacy Duan, a junior at Arcadia High School and member of the Arcadia Civic Youth Council

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