The festival consists of workshops, discussions, one-act performances prepared in advance by the attending high schools and ENMU scholarship opportunities for seniors willing to audition or provide a portfolio.
Months of careful preparation and planning go into Drama Fest. Digital filmmaking and theater majors take part in the festival by acting as staff members, either hosting schools or running workshops.
"Not all majors are required to participate, but for the most part they want to," said Brendan Moore, DFM major and Official Dramafest Coordinator. "We had a unique situation this semester where we had an abundance of staff, which speaks to how rapidly the department is growing."
The workshops offered to the high school students vary each day, ranging from lighting for film, comedic improve, stage combat and more.
Many of the high school students had great things to say about attending Drama Fest.
"It makes me feel more connected to the theater community," said Kari Zuniga, a senior from Carlsbad, NM.
"I like coming to Drama Fest because it's a time to get out of town and be with my friends and theater people. It's a good community
getting together for theater," said Allan Moore, a senior from Eldorado High School.
"So far it is really awesome. There's a cool community of theater people. Everyone I've seen is talented so far. Los Alamos is a really STEM town, so it's nice to have a non-STEM activity that we all love. Acting is really fun because you get to see many different worlds. It's interesting to see how different people play their parts," said Elanor Henderson, a freshman from Los Alamos.
When asked if Drama Fest makes students want to come to ENMU, the feedback was unanimously positive.
"Drama Fest makes me want to come to ENMU because everyone on staff seems like they're a family." said Zuniga.
"The festival would definitely be a big incentive for me to come to ENMU," said Moore, "I do have other options but they do a good job of making people want to come here."
"I don't know much about the school," said Henderson, "but it makes me interested."
ENMU President's Ambassadors are also involved in the festival by offering the high school students campus tours every weekday of Dramafest.
An awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, following the last one-act performance and ENMU workshop.
"This Drama Fest has been one of our most successful. We've had a bunch of schools we have never had before and all of the high schools are not just excited, but eager to learn", says DFM major and Drama Fest staff member Anna George. "They couldn't be a better guest and I hope we can be a gracious host."
ENMU will also be debuting its pyrotechnical and departmental collaboration of "The Pirates of Penzance" by Gilbert and Sullivan on Friday, Feb. 17th, for Drama Fest attendees. The show will open to the public at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Tickets are $7. Admittance for public school students is $3.
Read more about "The Pirates of Penzance"