EHS Thespians Attend Conference

Mackenzie Prendergast, Reporter

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From December 6-8th, Eaglecrest thespians attended the 54th Colorado Thespian Conference (Thescon) in downtown Denver. This conference provides workshops and performances for thespian troupes across Colorado to better their theater program and connect with other schools.

For two and a half days thespians chose from a number of workshops related to the technical or acting sides of theater.

Kylee Hallada, thespian president, stated, “I went to some musical theater classes to try and improve my character’s connection to songs. I also took some technical theater classes because I enjoy tech but don’t know much about it”

Many thespians took Thescon as an opportunity to branch out and try the different aspects of theater with guidance from professionals.

“I was really hoping to step out of my comfort zone and take classes I knew I normally wouldn’t,” historian Calean Echerverio stated. “I also went to an acting class taught by Tom McNally which was my favorite by far.

Hallada continued, “The most valuable thing I took from the trip was from Tom McNally, that ‘acting is about one character getting another character to do something’ This seems simple but it helps to not get stuck in the script.”

Liberty Ford added, “This year I decided to take a variety of classes. Last year I took mostly technical [classes] because that is what I do, but this year I decided to learn more about different areas of theatre.”

With the spring musical, Once on this Island, already starting up, thespians in the cast and crew took on valuable skills to use in the show.

“ I hope to bring back some of the techniques that I learned, especially with ‘Once on this Island’ coming up,” Hallada continued.

While tech and acting classes were important, dance classes were one of the most popular workshops this year among Eaglecrest thespians, as it was an area many wanted to learn about.

Margot Holley explained, “I mostly went to dance workshops. It was cool to learn choreography to songs from musicals I had already known, as well as from musicals I hope to learn more about.”

Dancing also gave a space for behind the scenes students to get out into an area they were unfamiliar with.

“My friends and I learned to dance, because techies don’t tend to get the stage spotlight,” Kat Tucker stated.

While many thespians tried to grow their talents, a lot of the best memories came from outside the workshops.

“The most valuable thing I’ve taken from the trip was really passion from my friends, from theater, from other crazy thespians,” Tucker continued.

The prevailing thought between thespians though is the support this group of students has.

“Something I will remember most is how supportive we all are of one another in this departement. There was at least one person in everyone’s IE,” Ford stated.

An IE is also called an individual event. Students register to perform a variety of acts ranging from monologues, to songs, to even technical skills. This is a way for thespians to get feedback from an outside source and grow in their field.

Erin Cozort was one such student who did an acting IE.

“I picked [my] monologue because I saw a rendition of it done by Meryl Streep and Viola Davis, some of my favorite actors, and I saw all that it could be,” Cozort explained. “It is nerve wracking to perform in front of so many people you know and don’t know, but I love to act so it was a good opportunity for growth.”

Tessa Giles performed a singing IE, performing a song from Waitress.

“My IE came from my personal experiences in my life. Music is such a powerful way to express yourself in ways unimaginable,” Giles explained.

After rushing to sessions throughout each day and hoping to make it back in time from lunches and breaks, thespians got to watch shows on the mainstage each night. The mainstage is at the Bellco Theater and is where the whole convention meets for opening and closing ceremonies.

Schools can submit their shows to be performed there for Thursday or Friday night. This year Regis Jesuit High School performed Sister Act and Frederick High School presented Newsies.

Holley added, “My first Thescon was exuberant. The most memorable part of the trip was getting to see Newsies and Sister Act performed on the main stage.”

Rian Nelson, who also got to attend Thescon for the first time this year was looking forward to the performances.

“Theater is my side hustle, however I love watching theater and that’s what I enjoyed most,” Nelson stated.

For seniors this year Thescon was bittersweet as this was their last chance to go to the conference.

Echerverio stated,“There were so many times during the convention that my underclassmen friends were talking about Thescon next year and it was upsetting that it was over.”

“My last thescon was very special because I spent it with amazing people. It was a little sad but it made me want to make the most of my experience,” Hallada furthered.

Thescon provided a unique experience for everyone and gave thespians an opportunity to take their own lessons.

“I hope to bring the advocacy for the arts that I learned about in a couple of my workshops [back to Eaglecrest] and just push us as a whole,” Cozort stated.

Other thespians had a more personal lesson they learned as Tucker explained, “I really took away the ability to try new things and have no shame in doing what I love.

Ford concluded, “Take chances and risks even when you aren’t sure about it, because you’ll end up having a great time”

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