Theater students deliver superior performances


Erica Gudino, Editor-in-Chief

From Feb. 3-5, eight theater students attended the International Thespian Society (ITS) Festival at Virginia Tech University, performing musical numbers for judges to qualify for a spot at nationals this summer.
Chaperoned by theater teacher Emmet Bales, seniors Peyton Evans, Ben Rawlins, Luisa Turner, and Owen Connolly and juniors Tatjana Shields, Charlotte Langford, Arielle Ward and Andrew Perrius represented the school in its first ITS competition.
“I sang “Bobbles, Bangles and Beads” from Kismet,” Langford said. “That’s one of those songs where people ask, ‘What if opera didn’t only have singing? What if it had lyrics, too?’”
In addition to performing, the students could choose from 120 workshops to attend that covered a variety of topics relating to theater, including costuming and tech design.
“So, in our downtime from performing, we were attending workshops about auditions, education, technique, careers in theater,” Evans said.
Rawlins, Evans, Langford, Shields, and Perrius all received superior medals; however, Rawlins not only qualified for his individual performance but also in a duet with Perrius from Les Miserables. These students have qualified to attend nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska, during the summer.
“We all qualified for individual events, which means we’ll take what we did at Tech, perfect it even more to fit the national rubric, and see if we can get a superior on the national level, which is even harder,” Evans said. “It has over 500 workshops per day and is a huge event. It would be great if we could go.”
While at the conference, Evans learned about the other options in the theater field and gained a better understanding of her capabilities in each area.
“Everything I did there helped with my flexibility, personability, and the abilities that I can take to the other areas of my life even if I don’t pursue theater,” Evans said.
Bales said that each student performed music from each genre of theater; he couldn’t be more proud of his students, considering this is their first year of attending the program.
“That’s what theater is about: bringing your best to the game and doing what you can,” Bales said. “As a teacher, you sit back and think, this is worth the 15 cents [I’m being paid] to do this.”