Venice High School Drama Troupe students received rave reviews at the National Performing Arts Festival in New York City Saturday and Sunday, February 23rd and 24th, according to a school source.

The troupe was among the five top high school and performance theater groups from throughout the nation that attended the festival.

The groups performed selections from their theater productions, participated in solo and duet competition and attended theatrical workshops and seminars.

Venice High director Traci Nichols-Thrasher’s drama troupe performed a 20-minute selection from Death by Dessert. The group received an excellent rating from a panel of theater professionals. At the 2006 festival, the group performed Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You.

Individual Venice students recognized by the judges for their performances include Daniel Trujillo, who received an Award for Excellence in character work; Erika Escobar, who earned an Award for Excellence in acting; and Malini Taneja, who received an Award for Excellence in acting and character work.

Two Venice theater students who also participated in the solo and duo competition, Nicolette Adams and Emily Reed, received an Award for Excellence in a duo scene for their performance of The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman.