Thespians participate in successful State competition

Reed Sturtevant and Caroline Hitesman, seniors, placed first and were chosen to showcase their duo musical piece at the State competition for Thespians. According to Jessica Murray, acting teacher, this was a huge accomplishment.

“They were invited to perform in the Showcase on Saturday in front of almost 1000 people at the historic Elsinore Theatre,” Murray said. “You will see their piece, ‘A Stud and a Babe,’ from ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ at May Day this year.”

This was also impressive to their fellow Thespians, like Ashley Welp, senior.

“Caroline Hitesman and Reed Sturtevant were chosen to showcase which was really, insanely cool,” Welp said. “It hardly ever happens, so it was awesome.”

Sturtevant and Hitesman were not the only students to end up successful though, according to Murray.

“Ashley Welp graciously ruled the weekend,” Murray said. “She won second place in State for Stage Management.  Ashley also received the Ansel J. Adams Technical Theatre Scholarship and the Oregon Thespian Scholarship.”

State took place in Salem, Ore. on April 12, 13 and 14. There are always a variety of awards given out at State, ranging from playwriting to solo acting to group musical. According to Melissa Cozzi, junior, many Thespians from WLHS were recognized for their participation.

“There are a lot of different types of awards, so a lot of people are recognized at the awards ceremony at the end of the weekend,” Cozzi said. “People who score well in the competition showcase before the awards ceremony, which means that they get up in front of everyone and perform their piece.”

Those who participated in State were the top 10 percent from the regional competition. Along with Welp, Sturtevant and Hitesman, Bradley Stone and Rihanna Turner, juniors, also competed. Others attended state to participate in workshops, and according to Welp, State is a fun learning experience.

“The Thespian State Competition isn’t just a competition,” Welp said. “It’s also a conference, and there are workshops and shows for everyone to see.”

The workshops at State cover a wide variety of topics, from dancing to technical classes. According to Cozzi, actors have alternatives if they do not wish to participate in the workshops.

“Some troupes brought short one act plays that they had directed,” Cozzi said. “You could choose to go watch them instead of doing the other workshops.”

Overall, Cozzi considers State a success. According to Murray, it is helpful and fun for not only the competitors, but the other Thespians there as well.

“The competition is only a small part of the event,” Murray said. “Truly, it is a conference with rich, varied experiences—fun and learning.”