Crestview High Thespians state-bound after district triumph

thespians CHS wonderful life

Cast members perform the final scene of "It's a Wonderful Life," Crestview High School's fall 2012 drama program production. Several cast members will attend the state Thespian Society meeting in Tampa next month.

FILE PHOTO / News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 05:45 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The regional International Thespian Society competition's local winners have faced intense opposition. District 1, of which Crestview High School is a member, is the state's largest region, stretching from Pensacola to Tallahassee.

After becoming the best in the district during a competition last month at Northwest Florida State College, the cast of Bulldogs will compete in what former Thespian Society President Ryan Vance said is the "biggest student-run Thespian event in the entire country."

The state Thespian Society's annual gathering — coming March 20-23 at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa — will be more than a competition, Ryan said. Spread among the center's five theaters, rehearsal hall and Patel Conservatory classrooms, the event will allow students to hone their stagecraft skills in acting and behind the scenes.

Workshops and seminars offer instruction in acting, set design, costume design, lighting, makeup, house management and other theatre-related skills. Instructors and judges will include theatre professionals along with college and high school drama faculty.

"It’s incredible, the amount of stuff we learn," Ryan said. "There’s tons of workshops there that I want to attend. I get so much from them. It’s a great experience."

Ryan plans to major in theatre arts upon graduation from Crestview High in June, following example from one of his best friends and theatre mentors, Jesse Hinton, who graduated last year.

In this year's Jan. 4-5 regional competition, the Crestview High School Thespians earned five more "excellent" ratings — the highest awarded in a student performing arts competition — than last year, Thespians adviser and drama teacher Annette Gebhardt said.

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