MIFA Comes Back Stronger Than Ever

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MIFA Comes Back Stronger Than Ever

Jason Pauli

            With 15 years of tradition behind them, the West Bloomfield High School MIFA (Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association) Company enters another competition season. The small, yet tight knit company enters the scene once more as a strong company, ready to take on this year’s competition and tackle this year’s new show: The Survivor.

            Under the direction of Mark Johnson, MIFA has put on fantastic shows such as Twelfth Night, David’s Mother, and Lend me a Tenor, however 2013 was Mark’s last year at the show with the WBHS MIFA company. This year, the company carries on with a new director Bailey Boudreau. “Being the new guy anywhere, regardless of age, location, school or professional world, is never easy,” says the new director. “Thus far, there has been a pretty welcoming community at WBHS, as well as some people who will still need some convincing that I was the right choice for the position.” Bailey has an impressive record having been a director, writer, producer, and more. He also runs a production company and has had his own works put on by local theater professionals.

MIFA is a competition in which students from all across the state compete in a variety of theater events ranging from poetry and storytelling all the way to the one act. While WBHS has a separate team for all other events (poetry, prose, ect.) the group known as MIFA focuses on the one act performance. The crew spends four months working on all aspects of the production such as light design, set design, casting, actor rehearsals and set construction, all leading up to the competitions on a district level all the way to competing with schools all across the state.

On the outside it may just seem like any other performance, but to the company members it is much more. “I have worked really hard to work my way up and learn as much as I can from the people above me. Now, it is my time to lead the company and show how passionate I am about MIFA,” says senior Samantha Kadien the scenic designer of the MIFA set. Samantha entered the MIFA company her first year at the high school. Some take a little longer to be invited to the company like junior Raina Pintomo who was invited last year.

The club has been the source of many memories for its members. Many say their favorite memory thus far was attending the various festivals. “My favorite memory thus far would have to be festival, especially states,” says senior and props designer Alison Zywicki. “I feel states last year helped me grow and taught me a lot.” Others, such as company manager and set designer Adam Rozenberg says that, “my favorite part about MIFA is the massive bond you build with all of your company members.” That bond is shared by all members of the cast.

The show the company will perform this year is “The Survivor,” a holocaust drama that takes place in one of the many concentration camps scattered across Europe in World War II. “The Survivor is, at its core, a story about young people left with nothing at all but their own will to survive. Though it is a piece very specifically set in the Holocaust with all its unimaginable atrocities, the base idea of standing up for what you believe in and doing everything within your power to survive is something we can all relate to,” says Boudreau. The cast had selected the play from a group of several dramas considered after last year’s show, and ultimately settled upon it as the right fit for them.

With many great shows behind them, the West Bloomfield MIFA team begins work on what is sure to be another phenomenal year and another wonderful show. With a strong body of hardworking company members and a dedicated director the team gets ready for another season of competition with a powerful story to tell. The MIFA company goes to their first round of competition, districts, on January twenty fifth. MIFA will also be having a dinner theater show on February 6th. Tickets are 25 dollars for dinner, the show, dessert and auction for adults, 15 for students, or 10 dollars for the show, dessert and auction. As the director says, “the most important thing we can do with this show is have an impact, and that is what we are trying to do.”