Five Camden Military Academy (CMS) students will perform an original play entitled “Castro” in the National History Day national championship June 10-14 in Maryland.
John Puhl, 17; Kamal Muudi, 15; Haiden Shemer, 18; Nestor Ruiz, 16; and Alexander Trznadel, 18, one first place on the state level at the South Carolina National History Day competition in April. Students dressed as Fidel Castro, Nikita Krushchev, Robert McNamara, J.F. Kennedy, and Che Guevara to portray a theme related to revolution, reaction and reform.
“It takes research and time management,” CMA U.S. History teacher John Helfin said.
This is the fourth year students from CMA have participated in the competition. Students are required to write a paper or participate in the history day competition each year.
“It’s kind of like winning the state championship in basketball,” Heflin said. “It takes practice, practice, practice.”
In order to prepare for the national competition, students worked on cleaning up their performance by creating a clearer tie to reform, added dates and times, and worked on their general stage presence, Trznadel said.
“Our goal is to win this time,” he said.
Trznadel has participated in several Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County productions and directed the first two plays CMA has showcased in 15 years.
Schemer said judges look at performances and subject matter more critically at nationals, so you’ve “got to be on your game.”
Schemer and Trznadel went to nationals last year with a performance based on Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.”
The winner gets a live video stream on the History Channel’s website and a $10,000 scholarship.
Of the three CMA groups that participated in South Carolina National History Day, one other group received a third place award.