PHS thespians to attend state festival

Published 3:06 pm Thursday, January 14, 2016

The student director and cast of Pelham High School’s performance of “Laundry and Bourbon” are performing the show at the Alabama State Thespian Festival. (Contributed)

The student director and cast of Pelham High School’s performance of “Laundry and Bourbon” are performing the show at the Alabama State Thespian Festival. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Reporter

PELHAM—After receiving a slew of exceptional awards at the 2015 Walter Trumbauer Theatre Festival competitions, Pelham High School’s thespian troupe is competing at the Alabama State Thespian Festival.

The Thespian Festival is strictly for members of the Thespian Honor Society, according to PHS theatre director Jamie Stephenson. To become a thespian, students must earn 10 points, and continue earning 10 points a year, by participating, watching and working on shows.

About 20 PHS students will participate in the festival Jan. 15-16 through competing in individual events and for scholarships, as well as attending theatre workshops.

“For a lot of my students, it is a great way to step into it because you don’t have to compete,” Stephenson said. “You can just go and attend the workshops.”

College professors and theatre professionals from all over the country teach the workshops, according to Stephenson, and she said it’s great way for her students to get feedback from other experts.

Many of Stephenson’s students will be competing in events as well. Juniors Riley Taylor, Stephanie Hernandez and Lindsay Evans are all participating in different events.

Taylor and Evans will be performing the duet “You Love Who You Love” from the musical “Bonnie & Clyde,” and Taylor is also performing the solo “In His Eyes” from the musical “Jekyll and Hyde.”

Both of the girls said they have been practicing as often as they can for the performances. Taylor will be auditioning for 12 colleges for a musical theatre scholarship while she is there as well.

Evans’ individual event consists of one comedic and one dramatic monologue, which she said she has been working on since last year.

“I’m excited just to go to workshops, watch a bunch of different plays and perform ours,” Evans said.

On the theatre tech side of things, Hernandez will be showing judges the design work she created for the show “The Night of the Living Dead.” She will show them all her work pertaining to sound and light cues, microphone schedules and other effects.

“I’m pretty happy about it because I have worked really hard on this,” she said. “Of course I’m nervous about it, but I’m really excited to see what they can help me with.”

Stephenson said three of her students will also be performing “Laundry and Bourbon,” PHS’s competition piece, at the festival. The show was so well received at the Trumbauer Festival that they were invited to perform it at the state festival, Stephenson said.

“We were really proud of it because of a lot of other shows had huge casts, and our show was three,” Stephenson said. “There wasn’t anything exciting, it was just straight-up good acting.”