Keniston vs. Keniston, an evening of one-act plays presented by FA and PCHS

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — On March 1 and 2, for the first time ever, drama students from Foxcroft Academy will be sharing the stage of the Center Theatre  with drama students from Piscataquis Community High School.  Bobby Keniston, drama director at Foxcroft, and his father Robert Keniston, drama director at PCHS, are both taking plays to the Maine Principal’s Association’s One-Act Play Festival, and decided there was an opportunity to start the competition a bit earlier.


Photo courtesy of Bobby Keniston

FAMILY FEUD — On the evening of March 1-2 at the Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft students from Foxcroft Academy and PCHS will compete in Keniston vs. Keniston, an evening of one-act plays with those from Foxcroft performing under the direction of Bobby Keniston and the PCHS students performing under the direction of Keniston’s father Robert. Pictured are the two Keniston’s with Robert Keniston, left, being held back by student Sam Phillips and Nik Hasenfus holding back Bobby Keniston.

    “I feel fortunate that Foxcroft Academy has always been able to utilize the Center Theatre as a facility for our one-acts,” the younger Mr. Keniston said. “I thought it would be nice to invite Guilford to join us for our evening of one-act plays. It is a perfect opportunity for us to ‘scrimmage’ before the big event in Skowhegan, while at the same time, hopefully creating some buzz for both of our drama programs.”

    “I am very excited for this event,” the elder Mr. Keniston said. “To have the opportunity to present our play at the Center Theatre, and to build school spirit around a theatre event is a dream come true.”

    The evening of plays will begin with two performances from Foxcroft Academy:  a fun, fast-paced mash-up of the Little Red Riding Hood story called “Ridiculous Rhymes and Funky Fairytales,” written by Bobby Keniston in conjunction with his students after weeks of improvising the story, and “Rabbits in the Garden,” a piece written by first-year playwriting student, Racquel  Bozzelli.

    “While I am very excited about Keniston vs. Keniston,” the younger Mr. Keniston said, “I am equally excited to be presenting a student-written work. This has never happened before at FA, and I am very proud to be presenting such a fine piece from one of my playwriting students.”

    Bozzelli, who hopes to be a writer in the future, was excited to be a part of Mr. Keniston’s playwriting class, in its third year of it being offered by Foxcroft’s curriculum, and is amazed at the chance to have her first play staged for the community. 

    Following a brief intermission after these first two shows, the main event begins: PCHS will present their competition play, “My Prom Date Was a Felon,” a romantic comedy by… Bobby Keniston?

    “My students and I both decided on doing one of my son’s scripts,” the elder Mr. Keniston says. “When you want to beat the best, you have to have the best. This isn’t nepotism — my students and I both loved the play, and we’re in this to win.”

    The final show of the evening is Foxcroft Academy’s competition play, “Aeroplane Over the Sea,” also by Bobby Keniston, a drama about a good doctor who travels to a foreign land, only to be met with suspicion. “It’s a great mix of entertainment, suitable for all ages,” young Mr. Keniston said. 

    While both Kenistons are having fun with the competition angle of this event, they stress that it is a “friendly competition,” grown out of a deep respect and support for each other’s programs. “One-act plays are traditionally a bit under-attended,” Mr. Keniston senior said. “By giving schools an opportunity to show their school spirit, we hope to draw out some good crowds.”

    Students from both schools are encouraged to come to the Center Theatre proudly showing their school colors to cheer on their favorite team. There is also a fundraiser which will give audience members a chance to vote for their favorite of the competition pieces by rating the students with a simplified “judge’s sheet” like those found at the MPA’s competition. “This is not only a great fundraiser,” young Mr. Keniston assures, “but also a great chance for both Foxcroft and Guilford to see how audiences respond, and how we can further fix our plays before competition.”

    Keniston vs. Keniston comes to the Center Theatre on March 1-2 at 7 p.m. Tickets will be sold only at the door, with discounted rates for students and faculty from the two schools. For questions, please e-mail young Mr. Keniston at And please come show your school spirit by attending Keniston vs. Keniston.

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