Thurston County Scores Big at the State Thespian Festival

by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS

Student actors, playwrights and stage crews scored big in the latest statewide Thespian Festival, held at Central Washington University March 16-17. Students and their teachers are rightfully proud and look forward to nationals this summer, though it isn’t clear all will be able to attend. Here’s what a few teachers and students had to say about the festival:

Robin Tuckett, Timberline drama teacher: “I have taken now three different schools to this festival, and this group by far was the most well-behaved, responsible, hardworking and kind … They made my job easy and represented Timberline very well.”

Kathrine Deneen, English and Drama teacher at North Thurston: “State drama festival was engaging, exciting and productive. To have like-minded students pursue their passions is always invigorating. Students work hard to earn those superior ratings.”

North Thurston senior Arianna Padilla-Alba: “It was a wonderful growing experience to learn about my craft at State. I loved my dance classes, especially Mama Yeye’s hip-hop and the La La Land ‘Another Day of Sun’ number.”

Lexus White, Timberline student: “It was my first time going to Thespian State. I found an appreciation for theater that I didn’t know I had. I got to see so much talent from kids my own age. It made me want to pursue it further in college.”

Matt Milton, drama teacher and troupe advisor at River Ridge High School: “While the competition plays a large part in the weekend, students also attended workshops, viewed productions from other schools and spent time strengthening their ensemble bond with each other. Students look forward to the state festival all year long, as it truly is a nexus of everything they love about theater.”

Randee Wilhelm, Timberline student: “It was my fourth shot to attend the State Thespian Festival. It will be an experience that I take for the rest of my life. The opportunity to showcase in front of such a large group was not only inspiring but eye-opening. Performing is something I want to do throughout my life. The Thespian Festival is a jump start to my endeavors and learning.”

More than a thousand students from 38 high schools competed. Following are the competition results from three Thurston County high schools:

North Thurston High School

State showcase first place: Veronica Emmerson

Superior winner (duo scene): Dylan Eckstein and Andrew Galbraith

Washington thespian tech scholarship winner: Veronica Emmerson

Superior winners (stage management): Veronica Emmerson and Charlotte Perez

Superior winner (monologue): Arianna Padilla Alba

Solo musical qualifier: Arianna Padilla Alba

River Ridge High School

“Excellent” winner: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, performed by Zacary Bache, Danielle DeLeon, Elizabeth Dunn, Brittany Miller, Marina Prado and Andrew Tuitele and stage managed by Nehemiah Desha

Costume design: Charlynn Aldon

Monologue: Zacary Bache

Group scene: Elizabeth Dunn, Gavin Barnett, Andrew Tuitele

Top 10th percentile in state: Charlynn Aldon, costume design; Zacary Bache, monologue; Zacary Bache and Marina Prado, duo scene; Gavin Barnett, Elizabeth Dunn and Andrew Tuitele, group scene

Top 20th percentile in state: Rita Cruz, monologue

Timberline High School

First in state and national qualifier, group musical: Emily Bolser, Jacob Conrad, Jeremy Johnson, David Maldonado, Hailey Phipps, Randee Wilhelm

Duet musical: Jacob Conrad and David Maldonado

Superior winner: “Look Me in the Eye,” performed by Jeremy Johnson, Andrea Kelley, Hailey Phipps, Randee Wilhelm and Tristan Woodhouse

Festival winner in tech Olympics: Ethan Glasman and Kaitlyn Lutz (props shift)

National qualifier, solo musical: David Maldonado

Top 20th percent in state: Jacob Conrad, Matthew Francis and Briyanna Gardner, group scene; Cameron Dyas, monologue; Stella Mason and Tristan Woodhouse, duo scene

What: To Seek. To Listen. To Learn.

Where: North Thurston High School,
600 Sleater-Kinney Rd. NE, Lacey

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, May 17-20

How much: $5-$7

Learn more: 360-412-4800 | NTHS

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