Thespians return from immersive festival

The DSHS Thespian Troupe 6261 got back from Dallas for the Texas State Thespian Festival over the weekend after three days of theatrical competitions, workshops, and performances.

The Texas State Thespian Festival put on by the International Thespian Society (ITS) was in Dallas, Texas at the Omni Hotel for the third and final year in a row and hosted a gathering of over 7,000 high school theatre actors and technicians from across the state.

The festival started on Thursday,  December 1 and continued until December 3, Saturday evening. Every day, students would attend multiple workshops covering a variety of theatrical subjects, from screen acting to script writing to special effects make-up, and they ended the night with guest speakers who worked to advise the students on how to achieve their goals within their theatrical careers. With so much going on every day, the festival had something for everyone.

“I went to multiple workshops that included anything from learning choreography from Broadway shows to forming an improv troupe,” freshman and troupe member Cassie Martin said.

And for the first time this year, every one of the Dripping Springs troupe attendants competed in an event at the festival in technical and theatrical contests, many advancing far past the first round.

“I competed in mask making…we didn’t place but I think we did pretty well since it was our first try,” freshman Caroline Sprague said.

“I competed in solo musical theatre. It was definitely nerve wracking, but I had the moral support from my friends and it was a blast. I was also very close to advancing to Nationals and am so proud of myself,” Martin said.

Beside even the competitions and the workshops, the festival also provided performances for the students to see for free multiple times per day. The shows that they selected to perform ranged from main stage performances of Cabaret and Heathers 101 as well as nearly 100 black box productions that were all put on by high school theatre students.

“We saw some incredible high school productions. They were some of the best non-Broadway shows I’ve ever seen,” Martin commented.

The event as a whole was a success with four students advancing to the National Thespian Festival, Logan Dundon and Nathan Dahill for Duet Acting, Brynn Brewer for Scenic Design, and Natalie Lamoreaux for Monologue.

Sprague encouraged others who maybe weren’t involved with theatre before to consider attending next year.

“You will make new friends and try new things,” she said. “Thespian Festival was one of the greatest experiences of my life and always will be. I made so many memories with my second family and everyone is already excited to go again next year.”

Written by Olivia Fletcher

Staff Writer

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