THS Drama Students go to The Maryland Thespian Festival


Kaylan Wallen, Writer and Photographer

THS Drama students went to the Maryland Thespian Festival January 12th-14th at Towson University, where they competed against some local high schools as well as other high schools from all over Maryland. Students that act as well as students that are behind the scenes were rewarded for their hard work. The Titan Stage was entered in 12 individual events and we earned superior ratings in 6 events. These students received the rating of Superior and will be invited to perform at Nationals. Duet Acting: Emily Frocke and Kris Cooper – Spy School, Solo Acting: Eliana Damaska – Coat Hanger Sculpture & Demons, Solo Acting: Kris Cooper – The Crucible & Speech and Debate, Solo Musical Theater: Bria Jones – There Are Worse Things I Could Do, Stage Management: Hannah  Chaney – Into The Woods. We also had Students receiving a rating of Excellent Duet Acting: Justin Barish and Dayton Newman – The Odd Couple, Solo Acting: Emma Morton – Blessings in Disguise & Wishing.

We were able to talk to Mrs. DeLucchi and get her take on the events.

Q. What is The Maryland Thespian Festival?
A. The Maryland Thespian Festival gathers together over 700 student actors and technicians from across the state to celebrate all things theater. Students participate over 100 workshops, performances, and individual events

Q. What preparation went into the acts that were preformed?
A. Students began preparing for festival in November with their selection of individual events. We also cast our One Act competition piece of Almost, Maine and began working to bring it to life on the main stage at Towson University.

Q. Who is going to Nationals and what do they have to do to be prepared.
A. Any theater student can attend the national festival held at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Much like the state Thespian festival, students participate in hundreds of workshops, performances, and individual events. While the workshop topics vary greatly, students have a choice of mask making, musical theater, acting, dance, vocals, directing, film production, and the list goes on and on. In order to perform at Nationals, students have to qualify at their state festivals with a qualifying score of a Superior in their individual event. Performance individual events include, solo acting, duet acting, group acting, solo musical theater, duet musical theater, and group musical theater. Theater technicians also get a chance to showcase their skills in a wide variety of events including stage management, sound, lighting, costume and set design, costume construction, and short film.

Q.How do you feel about the awards that were given?
A. I am so very proud of all the theater students who participated in the individual events offered at the state festival. We had 6 students qualify in their event for Nationals including: Hannah Chaney for Stage Management, Kris Cooper – solo acting, Bria Jones – musical theater, Eliana Damaska – solo acting, Emily Frock & Kris Cooper – duet acting. We also competed in the one act festival and received awards for best Main Stage Costumes and Best Main Stage props.

Q. What’s your hope for next year?
A. Next year I hope that the drama program will continue to grow so students can experience everything the art of theater has to offer.

We were also able to interview some of the students that participated.

Emily Frocke – “I did an act with Kris Cooper called spy school. My character is an average teenager and she gets introduced to this new life and I thought it was really cool and interesting. The crowd and judges really enjoyed it and we’re going to nationals.”

Hannah Chaney – “I participated as a Maryland State Thespian Officer, so I got to help get ready for the entire festival, step it up, tare it down, and run the whole thing. While I was there I competed in an IE (Individual Event), for stage management, at which I won a superior at the national level and got a call back from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and Michigan State. Overall, its a fun experience where you get to meet people who share the same interest and are your age.”

Dayton Newman – “I preformed with Justin Barish in The Odd Couple. The premise of the act is two single men that just got divorced and they have to different attitudes and outlooks on the situation and it makes for a fun act to preform and act. We got excellent 17/17, and a 16/17. We were a couple points off from a superior but I want to say congrats to everyone who was able to move on to nationals.”