Five clear creek theatre students advance to Texas thespians nationals

Anna May, Reporter

Texas Thespians is a state competition for high school actors and technicians of Texas, centered this year in Dallas, where the Clear Creek Theatre Department attended the weekend before Thanksgiving Break. Thespians from Wildcat Theatre competed in separate events such as solo musical, monologue, and stage managing, and five thespians advance to Nationals.

“I’m both excited and honored! It’s a little bit intimidating, but I’m so thrilled to advance to Nationals,” Avery Dennard, a junior, said.

Sponsored by Jennifer Alcala and Matthew Samson, the troupe competed in different events against other high schools in the state.

Creek thespians competed with solo musicals and monologues for the individual events, while the group events are duet or group musical and duet or group acting. The thespians competed, representing their schools on a state level. The student competitors have been preparing each of their acts since September, in order to bring the heat for the judges.

“Thespians was incredible because I got to spend time with thousands of other kids who are passionate about the things I love,” Dennard said.

However, not all of Creek’s team competed with individual or group events on a national qualifying level, but some students competed in improv events and technical events. The technicians performed certain tasks for backstage crew, such as costume design, makeup design, lighting design, sound design, and stage management.

“I think it’s pretty cool because there’s really not much competition in tech, usually, so it’s kind of a new thing for me,” Ethan Baur, a junior, said.

Along with competitions, the festival hosted dozens of workshops for actors, technicians, and directors, such as hip-hop dancing, practicing stage combat, or learning Hamilton choreography. Shows and musicals premiered throughout the day, such as The Show That Goes Wrong and Clue the Musical, hosted by Texas Thespians. Learning how to be better actors, singers, dancers, technicians, improvisers, and directors, students at the festival experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Workshops got me out of my box,” Bauer said. “Thespians is a good opportunity for theatre kids, and I wish it lasted longer.”

After performing in their individual competitions, five members from Creek are headed to International Thespian Festival in Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana next summer. Lizzette Velez, a senior; Avery Dennard, a junior; and Zoey Osbourne, a senior, advanced with their solo musicals. Hannah Van Cise, a senior, advanced in stage managing; and Julia Ellisor, a sophomore, advanced with her monologue. Theatre officers created a Troupe Display, showing pictures of Wildcat Theatre’s recent shows, actors and tech, which won an award for Outstanding Troupe Display. Additionally, Peter Blair, a senior, was chosen to perform in the All-Star Improv performance with over 20 improv competitors from different high school teams.

“I am really happy about it! I would have never expected to advance to Nationals my first time competing. I’m excited to go and meet thespians from across the country,” Ellisor said.

The International Thespian Festival, or INF, will host the best thespians of the world, with the Main Stage Performances in front of thousands of high school actors, as well as unified auditions for rising seniors to perform for over 50 different universities with solos, dances, technical events, and theatre education. Additionally, like the Oscars, and the Tony’s, Thespians have the Thespys to award actors and technicians who earn Superior scores in chapter qualifying events.

“I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity to move on to the next level of competition and hopefully meet some more great theatre people,” Dennard said.

With less than 200 days until INF, the five thespians are rehearsing their pieces to prepare for their individual competitions next June.