Drama Club takes on the Thespian Festival

Drama Club takes on the Thespian Festival

Photo credit: Gianna Roux

By Hayley Zalewski, Staff Reporter

The Michigan Thespian Festival held at the Lansing Conference Center this year was attended by the drama club. This hands-on experience helped members become more involved and confident in their acting abilities. 

According to English and Acting teacher Anna Fleury, a chaperone on the trip, there was an abundance of activities to participate in. The festival even included workshops targeted toward students interested in technology behind the theatrics. 

“You go to different workshops and work on different acting skills and different types of things,” Fleury said. “There’s stage combat, and there’s improv and there’s dance and musical theater. For techies, they have tech workshops if you want to work on lights, or on stage design.”

Not only did students participate in the workshops, Fleury explained that she learned some new techniques that she will use in the future.

“It’s helpful for me too because I get to bond with my students, but then I go to workshops as an acting teacher and I get new ideas as well,” Fleury said. “It also gave me some new games to play as an acting teacher.”

The festival also had many other events taking place. Drama Club President and  Senior Naima Wright says that the club saw a few different theatrical shows that were performed by other high school students who attended. 

“So the first time there we saw “Chicago,” the musical put on by another high school,” Wright said. “Then the second day there was a play called “Puffs” which another high school obviously put on, so that’s fun.”

The festival even had an awards event where schools and students were judged on their skills, yet the drama club did not enter the competition this year. Fleury explained that entering would have meant the club members would have had to prepare months in advance.

“It has to be really dedicated students who do that, who are considering going into theater,” Fleury said. “None of our kids did it this year, but I think some might think of doing it next year.”

Regardless of the drama club not entering the competition, Fleury says that she feels invigorated after her time visiting the festival.

“My love for theater and teaching theater was rejuvenated,” Fleury said. “I was so full of joy watching all of my students have such a wonderful time and also grow as actors.”

Not only does Fleury feel exhilarated from this adventure, Wright says her main takeaway from this outing was how fulfilling the trip was for her and everyone involved. 

“I think it was a really wonderful experience all around,” Wright said. “I was around a lot of people I loved, and it was really great being in a space where there were over 1000 other kids who were doing something that they enjoy just as much as I enjoy.”

As for Senior Aaron Ihrie, he says that his first and only experience was sad since he won’t be able to attend next year. Yet, he emphasized that this event grew his skill set tremendously, and hopes that a larger group can participate in the festival next year. 

 “I just think it’s a fantastic opportunity for learning about performing arts and all of that,” Ihrie said. “I think that it should be an experience for everybody and it shouldn’t be designated only to theater kids.”

Contributing: Jamie Wallace and Jo Jackson