Rancho Cucamonga High School’s advanced drama class prepares for the upcoming Inland Invitational


Photo courtesy: James Loudermilk

On stage performing, advanced drama students rehearse for the upcoming Inland Invitational.

Rancho Cucamonga High School’s advanced drama class is preparing for the upcoming Inland Invitational taking place on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at Montclair High School. Students in the advanced drama class have been preparing for about a month in preparation for the competition by practicing different roles they will play.

The Inland Invitational is a competition for schools residing in the Inland Empire and can only participate through invites. It is primarily for students who take theater classes. Students who will be participating in the competition have to perform in 20-30 minute plays, in which they will be judged for their performance.

“We are all doing one-act plays, so about 20-30 minute plays, so it’s really-really fast,” said Mr. James Loudermilk, the drama teacher. “And then there are judges that are gonna score the students and then there’ll be first, second, and third place winners, [as well as being] top performers selected from the overall categories.”

Loudermilk explained how he is in his second year teaching at Rancho Cucamonga High School, making this his first time participating in this competition. Loudermilk further explained how the competition was previously called METfest but, due to COVID-19, it was canceled. Now it is called the Inland Invitational.

“The competition was not happening because of Covid, so, they haven’t done this competition for the last four years,” described Loudermilk. “So this is the first year that they’re bringing it back. It was previously called METfest, but now it’s called the Inland Invitational.”

The students in advanced drama pose for a quick picture during rehearsals. (Photo courtesy: James Loudermilk)

The advanced drama class itself has separate departments in which students are able to prepare and come up with story ideas. The class consists a total of 28 students who will be participating in the event.

“We have 22 cast members, and we have four stage managers and two student directors, so a total of 28 students participating,” said Loudermilk.

Students who are participating in the event are excited to take part in the event, especially for students who have been in the class for all of their high school years.

“I’ve been in theater for about four years now, and this is my third year [in advanced drama class],” said senior Maha Tahir, who is a performer in the class.

Tahir explained how in order for the students to prepare, they have been having rehearsals during every class for about a month.

“We’ve been having rehearsals during classes, and every night I’ll go home and I’ll analyze the character and think about how I should say this line,” said Tahir.