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The Student News Site of Rice Memorial High School

The Knight's Banner

The Student News Site of Rice Memorial High School

The Knight's Banner

How Exactly Does a Class Win Stunt Nite?

Seniors performing their finale in their 2023 Stunt Nite show, Snow Day. (Photo/Stefen Parker)

Many students participate in Rice Memorial High School’s annual Stunt Nite, an over-the-top show that combines dancing, singing, and acting and serves to showcase the talent within the Rice Memorial High School student body.

It is also a competition between the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes. The prize: bragging rights for years to come. This year, the seniors took home the win.

Many students know the basic rules surrounding Stunt Nite. Classes are given 21 hours to rehearse their show. Scripts can be written by students or parents. Each class must produce a show that is 25 to 30 minutes long, and they will lose points if they go above or below the time limits.

However, the rest of the judging process remains a mystery to many students.

Who actually judges Stunt Nite? Why do they do it?

“Judging is done by an anonymous panel of judges, five at each show,” said Stunt Nite directors Joe and Paulette Bergeron, “Effort is made to ensure the judging panel is a diverse group, representative of the audience demographic and have knowledge of Stunt Nite but no ties to current Rice Students.”

While the judges usually remain anonymous, one well-known Stunt Nite judge is Monsignor McDermott. Many, like him, participate in judging stunt nite because of their own love for musical theater.

“I have an extensive background in live theater, performing, directing, etc. and so I offered to judge more than 20 years ago,” Monsignor shared, “My favorite part is simply seeing the joy on the faces of the students as they perform.”

The Juniors performing the finale of their 2023 show, Nite at the Museum. (Photo/Stefen Parker)

How is Stunt Nite actually scored?

Many students have been told over the years that Stunt Nite judging is a complex process and they can lose points for this or gain points for that. However, it is quite simple once you become acquainted with the process.

Classes (Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors) receive points for being either first or second in six categories. The categories are best vocal act, best act (without a vocalist), best overall acting (the cast), best band, best finale, and best overall show.

First-place winners in these categories receive two points and second-place winners receive one point. There are no extra categories in which bonus points can be scored. However, when scoring in each category, judges take into consideration if a student choreographed the act or if the script was written by a student. They are given a full program to gather such information.

Points can be lost if a class’s show runs for under twenty-five minutes or for over thirty minutes. One point is deducted for every sixty seconds past or below the time limits. The class who wins the best overall show wins Stunt Nite. The points earned in each category do not come into play unless there is a tie in the best overall show category. Points deducted for time reasons are taken from overall point totals and may impact a class’s ability to win a show.

The judges write everything down on their score sheets and comment sheets. Shows or acts can be disqualified for a few reasons including inappropriate dance moves, words, or music.

Many students and judges take Stunt Nite very seriously. There is often some trash talk between classes during the midnight afterparty, at which the winners are announced.

Directors Joe and Paulette Bergeron noted, “Feedback from judges in recent years is that they enjoy what Stunt Nite is all about ~ a magical event put together by the collaborative efforts of 100+ volunteers and most of the Rice Student population. They are always amazed at how each performance comes together in such a short timeframe utilizing the various talents of all the students.”

Sophomores performing to Singing in the Rain, first place in the best act category. Choreographed by Lillian Ehlers and Kenzi Ribera. (Photo/Stefen Parker)
Seniors performing Wannabe, second place winner for Best Act, during the dress rehearsal. Choreographed by Moorea Lambert and Lucia Bird Matarazzo. (Photo/Stefen Parker)

The winners of each category are as follows:

Best Vocal Act:
First Place: Seniors – Who I’d Be (Connor Trombly)
Second place: Seniors – I’ll be Home for Christmas (Henley Baker)

Best Act:
First Place: Sophomores – Singing in the Rain
Second Place: Seniors – Wannabe

Best Acting by a Class:
First Place: Sophomores
Second Place: Seniors

Best Band:
First Place: Juniors
Second Place: Seniors

Best Class Finale:
First Place: Seniors
Second Place: Tie, Sophomores and Juniors

Best Class Performance (Overall Winner):
First Place: Seniors
Second Place: Sophomores

Knight’s Banner would like to congratulate the seniors on their win this year and the sophomores on their second place.

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About the Contributor
Marissa Cross
Marissa Cross, Editor-In-Chief
Marissa joined the Knight's Banner in January 2023 as a staff writer. She enjoys writing about all topics. She was named Editor-In-Chief in May of 2024 and is excited to take on a larger role in making the voices of Rice Memorial High School Students more heard.
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