Drama students perform at thespian conference in Southern California

April 2, 2010 — by Christine Bancroft

Twelve SHS drama students arrived at an Ontario theater in Southern California on March 25 armed with songs and others with monologues and ready to see how their see how their work compared to drama students throughout the state.

Some were there to audition to be a part of the all-state show, a review show comprised of monologues and songs linked together with a unifying theme. All were there to participate in the International Thespian Society (ITS), the conference for drama students from all over California.
The same day they arrived, students also went to Disneyland, but March 26 was made up of competitions lasting from 9:30 a.m. to 10 at night.

“It was a treat to get feedback from people besides Mr. Mahle,” said junior Jae Lee. “I really enjoyed watching the guy win first place for the individual monologue category.”

Lee performed a comedic monologue from “Success” by Arthur Kopit as an audition for the all-state show. After successfully winning over the judges, he performed as one of a handful of comedic performers.

“It was fun to meet drama people from such different environments, too,” said Lee. “There are such varying degrees of ability, some are significantly better than us, some are not as good, but it’s still a good experience.”

Several students, including seniors Chris Renalds, Hannah Brown and Erin McCroskey and junior Chaz Main performed musical duets to be reviewed by a panel of judges. Renalds, who performed the song “It Takes Two” from the musical “Into the Woods,” said he and Brown were “a little unsure, but we both got superiors, the highest rating, so I think we were pretty proud of ourselves.” Renalds also said that it was “thrilling to be on stage with a thousand people” and that his favorite part was getting the chance to meet other drama students.

McCroskey, who performed “Let’s Misbehave” from the school musical “Anything Goes” with junior Chaz Main, said they were “nervous” because their rehearsals had been going badly but improved by the time they performed. “I think we both came off the stage feeling like that was the best we’d ever performed it. We were so proud of our performance,” he said.

On March 26, students attended workshops to improve on their abilities and learn new dramatic techniques. They had the chance to work with students from other schools and work with professionals.

“I thought it was cool meeting drama people with different personalities,” said Lee. “Some were crazy and outgoing, like us. I guess it made us feel like we’re not alone in the world. We’re not the only people like us.”

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