The doors at the Kiwanis Theatre have officially opened to kick off the 71st annual Sears Drama Festival.
Coordinator Nicki Lane says pulling off an event like this is always a challenge.
"Every school has their own set of challenges, whether it's geographic because you're not actually located in Chatham or getting your group together," says Lane. "But all the groups have done a great job overcoming whatever their challenges are, and getting together to put on a great festival."
Lane is a drama teacher at Wallaceburg District Secondary School and knows exactly how much time and effort goes into each production. However, all of that work pays off.
"They get the experience of performing in front of a live audience," she says. "They also get adjudicated by the person we brought in."
The first schools to perform on stage are Ridgetown District High School, Blenheim District High School, and Ursuline College Chatham.
On Tuesday, Tilbury District High School and John McGregor Secondary School will perform.
On Wednesday -- the last night of the festival -- the Blenheim District High School and Chatham-Kent Secondary School will perform. In addition, there will also be an awards ceremony.