Pelham Thespians eye the international stage

Pelham Thespians, troupe 6004, from left to right, top row: Brooke Thompson, Matt Hill, John Kennedy and Hunter Savage. Middle row: Caylin Cobb, Blaine Edward and Lydia Cobb. Bottom row: Kristen Hayes, Kaylie Elward. (Contributed)

Pelham Thespians, troupe 6004, from left to right, top row: Brooke Thompson, Matt Hill, John Kennedy and Hunter Savage. Middle row: Caylin Cobb, Blaine Edward and Lydia Cobb. Bottom row: Kristen Hayes, Kaylie Elward. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Like any other successful team, members of Pelham High School’s chapter of the International Thespian Society practice and compete in events across the state, such as the Alabama State Thespian Festival. This summer they look to take their art to the next level, the international stage.

The students of Troupe 6004 are a dedicated group, and must perform, attend or help in a designated number of events each year in order to maintain their status in the International Thespian Society.

“Students must earn 10 points to be inducted and 10 points each year to stay an active member,” Pelham High School theater teacher and Troupe 6004 faculty leader Jamie Stephenson said. “The points are made by being in productions, seeing productions and working backstage on productions.”

And their results at the Alabama State Thespian Festival prove their hard work has paid off. Student of Pelham’s Troupe 6004 received recognition in 13 categories, winning first place in three and ranking among the top three in four others.

The International Thespian Festival, held in Lincoln, Neb., in late June will give the Pelham students the opportunity to compete with peers from around the state and around the world. In addition, Stephenson said the seven-day event is also a great learning experience.

“High school students from all over the world travel to Lincoln to compete, audition for college scholarships, watch plays and do workshops for seven days,” Stephenson said.

The students have been working for months to fundraise for the $10,000 trip.

“We have had performances as fundraisers,” Stephenson said. “We’re hoping to fit in a Teacher v. Student Improv night to make some more money for the trip.”

In addition to “incredible support” from the community, on April 21 the City Council approved a $3,000 donation to Troupe 6004 to help fund their trip.

“We are so lucky to be in a city that appreciates the fine arts and supports the students so much,” Stephenson said.