PHS Thespians make their mark

Ten members of the PHS Thespians traveled to Lincoln, Neb., to participate in the International Thespian Festival this summer. Pictured are members of the PHS Thespians, 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)

Ten members of the PHS Thespians traveled to Lincoln, Neb., to participate in the International Thespian Festival this summer. Pictured are members of the PHS Thespians, 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—Troupe 6004, Pelham High School’s chapter of the International Thespian Society, made their mark at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Neb., this summer.

The Pelham City Council voted to support the PHS Thespians with a $3,000 donation to help fund their trip to Lincoln, Neb., during an April 21 Council meeting. On July 21, the Thespians returned to thank the Council and report on their experience and success.

From June 23 to June 28, 10 members of the Troupe 6004 participated in numerous workshops, watched high-level performances and competed against peers from across the country and across the world.

“Our kids were top 10 in every category they competed in,” Pelham High School theater teacher and Troupe 6004 faculty leader Jamie Stephenson said of the students’ outstanding performance at the International Thespian Festival. The students competed in categories such as solo acting, duet acting and costume design, Stephenson explained.

Additionally, recently graduated senior from the class of 2014, Lydia Cobb, was awarded a $2,000 scholarship at the festival. After several rounds of interviews and auditions, Cobb was selected for the scholarship from more than 300 other students who auditioned.

“That was such an honor,” Cobb said to the City Council. “I couldn’t have done it without (your support). Thank you so much.”

The International Thespian Festival was the culmination of hard work throughout the year, including practices, performances and two competitions, Stephenson said.

“It’s great for the kids,” Stephenson said of the experience. “Its great for the younger kids to see the level they need to be at.”

This year’s group consisted of eight seniors and two juniors, and Stephenson said she hopes to continue attending the festival each summer. The experience gained through competition and through just seeing the quality acting and performances is very beneficial for the students, Stephenson explained.

Stephenson said one of the best parts of the festival was “being able to see some of the best theater in the country… and knowing they (the PHS Thespains) are at that level too.”