[title of show] takes the stage

Every year hundreds of Thespians from all over Iowa come together in Cedar Falls to perform and learn from one another. This year, Mr. Colin Muenster and a group of students from all four grades traveled to UNI for the weekend. The students who went ranged from Thespian newbies who have only been involved in one or two theater productions, to veterans who have been involved in theater and Thespian Troupe 3842 since freshman year. Regardless of their experience, all the students experienced  a weekend full of learning, workshopping, and theater.

Peyton Weber '17 and Jennifer Carpenter '18 perform an excerpt from "Proof" at Thes Fest.
Peyton Weber ’17 and Jennifer Carpenter ’18 perform an excerpt from “Proof” at Thes Fest.

One Thes Fest veteran is Madeleine Mulgrew, ‘17. This was her third year attending, and she was excited for the new adventures of  this year. “I performed in [Title of Show] which was on the  mainstage. Although we weren’t technically “competing,” we were being judged, which means that if we get a high enough score, we could qualify for International Thespian Festival. Yay! I was very excited for [Title of Show] because this was the first big show I have done in quite a while. This show was really different from the shows we have had at Wahlert because the UNI theater is substantially larger with a lot more students watching. But I was really excited to perform,” said Mulgrew.

Along with Mulgrew, Eric Leigh, ‘18, was very excited to be taking [Title of Show] to Mainstage, along with singing a duet with Abby Burns and doing a short film with Sophia Shubatt, ‘18.

Leigh explained, “I’m excited for the mainstage, but also terrified. I have enjoyed watching the mainstage events, so to be involved in one was very exciting, yet nerve-wracking.”

As for the short film and duet, Leigh was enthusiastic. “Doing a short film is new to me, but it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to; also, the duet with Abby should be fun. I guess the main difference between this year and last year is that I’m incredibly nervous because I have a lot to live up to. Last year I was very lucky to be able to place in the top four in duet musical with Mimi. We’re supposedly in Dramatics magazine because of it, so that’s something to strive for again!” said Leigh.

Thes Fest was a learning experience for those not competing or performing. Connor Hartig, ‘20, is not yet endorsed as a Thespian, but tagged along for the ride this year. “Since I’ve only been involved in a few shows at Wahlert, I was excited to be able to watch a lot of great shows and take what I learn and apply it to future shows I do,” said Hartig.

While the goal for most Thespians is to receive a high score on their competition pieces, to impress the judges, and for their hard work to be recognized, Abby Burns, ‘18, identified a more important reason to attend Thes Fest. “Of course, I loved being able to show everyone all my hard work with [Title of Show], and I enjoyed watching the shows. But more importantly, I feel so blessed to be surrounded by people who share the same love for theater that I do. Thes Fest was a wonderful opportunity and I was thrilled to take part  in it!” exclaimed Burns.