Students attend state thespian conference

Senior Christian Ragain attends a session at the Missouri State Thespian Conference Jan. 10 through 12. Photo by Ethan Ryan

Inducted members of Troupe 191 started off the year by attending the Missouri State Thespian Conference.

The conference, held on alternating years in St. Louis and Kansas City, was centered in the Marriott in downtown Kansas City. The conference days, running from about 8 a.m. to 12 a.m., were occupied by workshops, competition, and performances, as well as for potential awards and scholarships.

Students were able to participate in Individual Events (IE) in performance and technical categories, as well as team works like the Tech Challenge and the Improv Intensive.

Seniors Tea Gardner and Grace Engel for Duet Acting and junior Jessica Peterson for Solo Acting were chosen to perform in the IE showcase and were given an invite to Nationals.

Sophomore Caroline Gillow received a superior rating and an invite to Nationals in Costume Design with her portfolio for Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Senior Basil Sessen received 1st place in the Tech Tournament with a 52 second time in the “threading a sewing machine” event.

Senior Joseph Castleman, who has attended the conference every year since he was a freshman and performed with the improv team this year, describes the experience as “amazing.”

“The thespian conference is a great culmination of theater and people from across the state. My favorite thing about it is always meeting new people.” Castleman said, “Everyone there is so friendly, outgoing, and shares a passion for theater that makes it easy to go up to strangers and say, ‘Hello.’”

The conference, which ran from Jan. 10 through Jan. 12, ended in the same snow experienced in Webster, which resulted in the students return home being postponed a day later.

Maeve Taylor – Podcast Editor 

This is Maeve Taylor’s first year on the Echo. She found her niche in audio while taking journalism her freshman year.


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