Thespians attend, perform at state

Thespians complete their performance with a signature bow.

NHS Thespian Troupe Instagram & Facebook pages

Thespians complete their performance with a signature bow.

Annika Yoder, Reporter

This year, NHS drama students participated in and attended thespian state. The event was held in Wichita and students performed at Century II Performing Arts Center. The students performed their production of the play “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,” which they had previously performed in the fall of 2021. The NHS drama department was one of only five schools that received the opportunity to perform at state this year.

Thespian state is a multi-day event full of activities, workshops and performances. Thespian troupes from all over the state of Kansas come together to participate in the activities associated with state. However, the NHS drama department had the additional opportunity to perform, which they have not qualified for in five years.

Some of the workshops I participated in were learning how to paint different designs on set pieces and some friends and I went to a workshop about puppetry in theater,” junior Taylor Redington said. “There were also some [classes] about choreography and improving your acting skills. Really anything you could think of and there was probably an activity for it. In terms of our performance, there are only five schools out of the whole state that get to perform at the festival so it was a huge honor.”

Being able to perform at state is a great opportunity for thespians to further their experience with drama. They get the chance to perform in front of a very large audience and perform in a more professional environment than they are used to.

“Schools submit their fall productions to the judges, who are professional actors and directors, and they fill out a rubric regarding each show submitted,” NHS drama teacher Jessica Heidrick said. “We are scored on everything from costumes, to set, to several specifics regarding the actors’ performance. If you are selected, you perform at State Thespian Festival at Century II, in front of thespians from all over the state.”

To attend thespian state, the main qualification is to, of course, be a thespian. Not everyone that attends has to perform on stage however. There were some members of the drama department who did not actually go to state to perform in the production. The NHS drama department also took some of the other crew members to state, to help with setup and improve their own craft.

“It’s primarily thespians that attend, which is the drama honor society,” Heidrick said. “We had students running lights, stage managing, acting, and everything.”

Heidrick says that she was very proud of her students for their performance at the festival, especially since it was the troupe’s first time being selected and performing since 2017. Both Heidrick and Redington say that going to state was a great opportunity for the drama department and an overall amazing time.

“Overall I really enjoyed the experience of holding a show at thespian festival, especially in front of an audience of over 1000 people,” Redington said. “I was able to learn how things were run in a more professional setting of theater and about multiple different tech elements and techniques I had never seen before.”