It's that time of the year when area high schools focus their theater spotlights on the Ray of Light.
The Community Theatre League is gearing up for the sixth annual Ray of Light Awards, the program developed to promote the efforts of local and area high school music and drama departments.
The school-year long adjudication process of high school theatrical shows culminates with a formal awards ceremony honoring the best and brightest performances.
Jacquie Engel, CTL project manager, has styled the formal ceremony after Hollywood's Oscars and Broadway's Tony Awards - from the red-carpet treatment, paparazzi, and DJ spinning music for nominees outside the Community Arts Center to the awards ceremony with full orchestra and performances by participating high schools to a gala post-show party.
This year's Ray of Light Awards ceremony will be held May 18, 2014, at the CAC, with WNEP TV 2 televising the event.
Since its inception, the Ray of Light Awards program has grown in popularity. Engel said originally only high schools within 25 miles of the Community Theatre were eligible to compete.
But with teachers and students lobbying CTL, the radius was expanded to 40 miles a few years ago, which now allows Central Mountain High School, Mill Hall; Midd-West High School, Mifflinburg; and Shikellamy High School, Sunbury, to participate.
The competition is divided between straight (comedy or drama) plays presented in the fall, and musical productions staged in the spring. This year, high schools from Clinton, Lycoming, Union, Northumberland and Snyder Counties will compete.
Shikellamy - "Why Bump Off Barnaby?": Shikellamy presented the murder-mystery farce to lead off this year's Ray of Light last weekend.
Montoursville - "The Grimm Brothers Spectaculathon": 7 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday.
South Williamsport - "Harvey": 7 p.m. Nov. 14, 15 and 16.
Warrior Run - "Dearly Beloved": 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and 15.
Midd-West - "The Curious Savage": 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21, 22 and 23.
Hughesville - "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court": 7 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23.
St. John Neumann Regional Academy - "Zombie Wedding": 7 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23.
Selinsgrove - "The Man who Came to Dinner": 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and 14; 2 p.m. Dec. 15.
Some high schools enter both a play and a musical while others limit their entry to a spring musical.
This year marks the first time that Selinsgrove Area High School has entered the ROL, and although St. John Neumann Regional Academy entered a musical years ago, this is the parochial school's first submission of a play .
Music directors have a Nov. 30 deadline to submit the musical selected and it is anticipated that 12 to 15 high schools will enter a musical for judging next spring.
Each production submitted is adjudicated for the variety of awards, trophies and cash honorarium for individual performers and for the school.
A detailed grading sheet directs the adjudicators to evaluate each show in specific categories. After calculating the top average scores, the nominees are announced about two weeks before the awards ceremony.
This year nearly 25 adjudicators, who travel throughout the multiple counties to see and judge each production, sometimes will do double or even triple duty when more than one school stages its show on the same weekend.
For more information on the Community Theatre League's Ray Of Light, visit ctlshows.com.