Walkersville Thespian Troupe Enjoys and Excels at ITS Festival
by Hannah Benson
At the end of last week, 27 International Thespian Society members from WHS visited Towson University for the Maryland Thespian Festival.
Members participate in a variety of events, competitions, workshops, auditions, and activities. Walkersville High School did very well, and won several individual, and group awards.
Theatre teacher Heather McFadden stated, “I actually am a part of the state board, so I am at the back end of the orginizing end. So I did enjoy it, just watching all of those months of work come into completion.”
Junior Noah Patrick commented, “It was great! I found that a lot of the workshops were informational, and one actually led me to a book on script analysis. It was really interesting to learn on how to advance as an actor and just in general. A lot of the leaders of these workshops have real life experience. The one from the college audition workshop had a lot of experience with professional college auditions.”
“I enjoyed festival; I had to work there. It was a good experience because I got to learn about theatre. The parts that I did get to attend, they were really beneficial,” sophomore Lia Finch shared.
Junior Erin Kopit exclaimed, “I loved festival! One of my favorite things is definitely meeting new people from different schools because obviously we are all there for theatre and all have that same love for theatre… especially the people who are running the workshops, who have funny stories and really good advice.”
“Festival overall was really great, and I was super proud of everyone who did IE’s, and scholarships and everyone who tried even if they didn’t succeed and it was a really great festival. A lot of fours, a lot of superiors, and it was great,” senior Emilia Lawler commented.
Overall, five students received “superior” ratings in their IE’s, which stands for individual event. and have qualified to move onto Nationals. This includes Luci Karszen in Costume Design, Tyler Brust in Scenic Design, Emilia Lawler in Stage Management, and Erin Kopit and Rachel Boyd in Musical Theatre Solos.
In addition to Stage Management, Emilia Lawler received the Maryland Thespian Theatre Service Scholarship. This is the third year that a Walkersville High School Student has received this particular scholarship.
“So actually I was the only applicant who got the scholarship because they other applicant dropped out early, so I kind of was going to get it anyway. But it was really easy to sign up for. You just have to make a quick five minute video and do an interview with an EDTA member, and this other guy named Mr. Johnson, who is a director,” Lawler remarked.
Many others were just points off from receiving “superior” ratings in other events. This includes Ian Marron in Lighting Design, Jayla Polluck in Short Film and Acting Monologue, Mackenzie Wright in Acting Monologue, Deirdre Hall in Musical Theatre Solo, Deirdre Hall and Erin Kopit in Musical Theatre Duet, Rachel Boyd and Noah Patrick in Musical Theatre Duet, Cian Pickron in Stage Management, and Lia Finch in Musical Theatre Solo. The Tech Theatre Team also participated in a “Tech Challenge,” and placed second. These competitors did amazing, and everyone worked very hard on their events.
McFadden commented, “[I am] super proud, putting together an individual event is work, and it is putting yourself out there to be criticized, and to perform in front of your peers and a lot of people you don’t know and I think it shows a lot of commitment to bettering their craft, when students work on their IE’s. It’s a lot of work and you can see it pay off.”
Patrick stated, “This was my first year performing, my partner was Rachel. You have to get used to how they go…working with Rachel is always fun because we are really good friends.”
Students who attended the Maryland Thespian Festival, enjoyed themselves, worked hard, and were amazing. They did a spectacular job representing the school in every way, and will continue to improve their theatre careers