ROCK SPRINGS - Wheatland High School Thespian Troupe 605 (Drama Club) attended the Wyoming State High School Drama Tournament. Over 750 students from 26 Wyoming high schools compete in eleven acting and eleven technical categories at both novice and varsity levels. The Tournament continues to grow each year with a 14 percent rise in attendance this year over last.
The Drama Club took the most participants of any previous years with 21 students. They have been rehearsing and working on their individual projects since the beginning of the school year. Some have been working for even longer in anticipation for the annual event.
This is my third year at State Drama and it’s my favorite time of the year,” explained Brooke May. “It’s really neat to see the other performances and workshops. To see what theatre is all about and how hard people work.”
The students are able to attend the performances of other Wyoming schools and attend workshops led by theatre professionals that teach a myriad of skills from audition tips to scenic design elements.
Participants with Superior rankings in nine acting and seven technical events at the varsity level qualify for the National Thespian Festival held in Lincoln, Neb. in June. Representing Troupe 605 and the State of Wyoming will be Seniors Noah Crowley and Matthew Wilhelm, joining them is Junior Brooke May. Crowley is competing in his Marketing project for “Winnie the Pooh,” Wilhelm in Costume Construction for a costume he sewed for “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and May for a Medieval Costume Design of “Lion in Winter.” All three received Superior rankings with May earning a perfect score.
Other Troupe 605 members receiving Superior rankings were Hava Cundall and Haley Shea in novice costume design. Jaime Wardell for realistic makeup and Ashlynn Huffer for fantasy makeup both received Superior ratings; however, Make-up Design is not currently a part of the National Competition so they will not be permitted to continue in the competition.
“As a freshman I felt very inspired. This has taught me discipline and focus and how to think quick on my feet,” said Ashlynn Huffer. “In sports we are always so competitive with kids around the state, this was different – everyone wants to help to insure you do well. No one puts you down for doing poorly.”
Wilhelm auditioned for acting scholarships and Noah auditioned for technical scholarships. Both have received several callbacks from area colleges.
“The awards are really nice, but not what it’s about. It’s really about getting these kids scholarships to further their education,” Coach Kalyn Krotz commented. “These kids have something to be proud of and this event celebrates theatre in Wyoming.
In the Devised Theatre category, “Five Stages” brought home the third place trophy. The script was inspired by the Freshman Impact program presented earlier in the school year re-cast and revised to reflect the five stages of grief. Wilhelm and Crowley also received Superior rankings for their acting in the production, bringing the total Wheatland medal count to nine. In the 3A State Sweepstakes, Wheatland also garnered the third place trophy. In order to qualify for Sweeps, a school must enter at least ten events.
In addition to the Superior awards, Wheatland also received many Excellent rankings.(Honorable Mention) All the results were not available at press time. Other events entered were: Acting – monologue & duet, Musical solo & duet, Original Script, Scenic Design and Arena Performance. Completing the team are Elizabeth Crowley, Megan Delwisch, Colter Kennedy, Grace Hanni, Anna Cecil, Danielle Britz, Sheldon Harnish, Elly Smith, Paige McClaugherty, Quinn Lawrence, Sasha Putnam, Halle Smith, Makenzie Clyde, Haley Shea and Zachery Smith.