Tweaking theater traditions

Theater department prepares for State Thespian Festival over Zoom


Photo from MW Theatre

This is the group picture of the Theatre department attending the festival last year.

Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla, Editor-in-Chief Catalyst Online

Every year, the Drama Club attends the State Thespian Festival at The DoubleTree Hotel downtown and the Holland Center. This festival is an opportunity for high school theater students to gather to celebrate their works and talents from throughout the year. 

Rather than their traditional gathering with hundreds of students, the event will take place over Zoom through Jan 8 and 9.

“There is everything from shows, to workshops with National Teaching Artists, to state improv and Tech Challenge events as well as individual events we call the International Thespian Excellence Awards,” Theatre director Brooke Phillips said. “The students prepare for this by submitting designs, practicing their performances and filling out application forms that could get them individual scholarships.”

The festival may not completely focus on competing against one another, but it does emphasize gaining skills throughout the various classes and workshops they attend.

“All the workshops at State provide great opportunities for any drama student,” Drama Club Vice President Edison Geiler said. “Freshman and seniors can explore their interests with other passionate students and make connections across the state. This is a unique way for us to connect but also find what we love doing in theatre.” 

Despite the actual event not happening yet, two students participating in individual events, Dakota Horrocks and Isabella Reilley have made it through the first round of judging to call backs for the showcase. These callbacks display some of the best talent of the whole state. 

Horrocks and Reilley both advanced in the Musical Theatre division at state. 

“I moved onto the next round of my category, which was Musical Theatre,” theatre officer Dakota Horrocks said. “I got a callback which meant that I got the opportunity to perform in front of everyone at the actual festival.”

With the Zoom version of the event happening in just a few weeks, the girls as well as the rest of the Theatre Department continue to practice their skills to help them place well overall in categories such as Musical Theatre, Acting and Technical Crew.