"I can see sin in all the world. And I may well hate that sin, but never the sinner."

Temple Students Win UIL Film State Championship Print Email

Temple High won the 2014 UIL Film State Championship in Division 2, Narrative. The results were announced Wednesday, April 16, during a screening of all the state finalist films at the Paramount Theatre in Austin. Temple's winning entry was VORTEX, and the film team included Jared Smith, Spencer Mathesen and Michael Guillen. Faculty sponsors were Natasha Tolleson and Richard Tolleson.

In the first year of this UIL contest, 495 films were entered. Division 2 consisted of 4A and 5A schools. The entries were screened by 123 volunteer judges who provided written critiques, ranked the films and advanced 143 of the 495 films to the state semi-finals. Next, 65 judges screened the semi-finalists, advancing 37 to the state finals. The categories for the competition included animation, documentary and narrative.

CLICK HERE for a YouTube video of the announcement.
CLICK HERE for a Photo Album from the event.

The Paramount Marquee and Temple's Film Team (from left): Jared Smith, Spencer Mathesen and Michael Guillen

Temple's state championship win made the front page of the Temple Daily Telegram on April 18, 2014, with an article by Susan Sharp and a courtesy photo furnished by Jody Donaldson:

Temple's One-Act Play Advances from Area to Region Print Email

Temple's one-act play, Never the Sinner, advanced to the region contest on Saturday, April 12, from the area contest at Waxahachie High School. The other advancing play was Arlington Martin with Holy Ghosts. At the region level, there are only 24 schools left in the 5A contest.

Temple students named to the all-star cast were Josh Petersen, Chris Kleypas and Jared Smith. Emma Tolleson was named to the honorable mention all-star cast. Jo Jo Salas was named as best technical crew member.

CLICK HERE to see a photo album from the area contest.
CLICK HERE for a YouTube video of the announcement that Temple advanced.

The region contest will be Thursday, May 1 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Temple's competitors in Lubbock include El Paso Franklin, Summer and Smoke; Midland Lee, Maelstrom; Arlington Martin, Holy Ghosts; Keller, All the King's Men and Lewisville Flower Mound, By the Bog of Cats. Temple will be the 4th school to perform. Two of the six schools will advance to the state contest in Austin.

Temple's one-act play team on the stage at Waxahachie High School.

Temple Advances 10 Students to UIL State Design Contest Print Email

Temple High School advanced 10 students (out of 12) to the finals of the UIL 2014 Theatrical Design State Contest. Only one other school in the entire state (Pharr-San Juan-Alamo North High) had more students qualify for the state meet. The student designs will be on display May 19-21 at the Bass Concert Hall in Austin during the UIL one-act play state meet and are based on Tartuffe.

Temple students who advanced with individual design entries included Mikayla Craig (costume design), Priscillia Guillen (make-up design), Emma Wenkert (make-up design), Alyssa Kerr (set design), Hannah Gilmore (set design) and Jonathan Nabours (marketing design).

Temple students who were part of the four-person group entry included Dana Lauchner (costume design), Mickey Coppel (make-up design), Bri Rodriguez (set design) and Taylor Bookout (marketing design).

In the UIL Theatrical Design contest, schools are not divided into classifications. All schools (Class A through 5A) compete equally against each other. Each school may enter a maximum of eight individual entries and one four-person team entry. This is the ninth year of the contest. Temple won the group state championship during the first year (2006). Temple also won 4th place in the state in group design for three years in a row (2009, 2010 and 2011). The UIL gives awards for 1st through 5th place in each category.

Last year, Temple's Group Theatrical Design Team (Madeline Kleypas, Dana Lauchner, Eric Southerland and Spencer Tolleson) won 2nd place in Texas in the 2013 UIL contest. Megan Foutz (theatrical make-up design) and Michael Guillen (theatre marketing design) both won 4th place last year in the state in individual competition.

Temple Students Advance to Regional Academic Contest Print Email

Six Temple students advanced from the District 8-5A UIL Academics Contest, held March 19 and 22, to the Regional Contest, to be held in Lubbock at Texas Tech University May 2 and 3.

Jeramy Dedrick won first place in Poetry with Scott Searles winning third place in the same contest. Michael Guillen was named first alternate in the Prose competition.

Temple's Literary Criticism Team won first place in the district. The team includes Josh Petersen, Eliah Fihn, Michael Guillen and Eric Southerland. In indiviual awards for Literary Criticism, Josh Petersen won first place and Eliah Fihn won third place. The contest is a 90-minute test in which the student's familiarity with the concepts associated with literary analysis, authors and works that represent English-language literary history, as well as some of its classical and international influences, is assessed.

Josh Petersen also won first place in Ready Writing, with Eric Southerland winning fourth place in the same contest. In the Ready Writing Contest, the students are given two hours to write expository compositions. They have a choice between two prompts, each an excerpt from literature, publications (past and present) or speeches.

Taylor Bookout placed fourth in the News Writing contest and Taylor Sekander placed fourth in Feature Writing. In UIL academics, the top three finishers at the district level advance to regional, and then the top three at regional advance to the state finals.

2014 UIL One-Act Play "Never the Sinner" Print Email

Scenes from Never the Sinner by John Logan is Temple High School’s entry in the 2014 UIL One-Act Play Contest. Set in Chicago in 1924, this is the story of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb and the murder trial in which they were defended by Clarence Darrow.

The first round of competition (zone) will be Friday, March 21 in Temple. District competition will be one week later, on March 28, at Midway High School. Two schools are named district co-champions and advance to the area contest. For 21 years in a row, Temple has been one of those district co-champions. No other UIL team at Temple High Schools holds such a record.

CLICK HERE for the Information Page about the One-Act Play that contains cast list, production staff and other related information.

Two Temple Films are UIL State Finalists Print Email

In the first year of the contest, Temple has had two of the three films it submitted named as State Finalists in the 2014 Focus: The UIL Young Filmmakers Festival. In Division 2 (Conferences 4A and 5A), 91 films were selected as state semifinalists in the categories of animation, documentary and narrative. Eighteen films (six in each category) were selected as finalists. Over 500 films total were submitted for this year's festival.

Temple's film team includes Jared Smith, Spencer Mathesen and Michael Guillen. Temple's two State Finalists films are Heart On Sleeve (narrative) and VORTEX (narrative).

The top six entries in each category will be screened and ranked first through third at the state festival on Wednesday, April 16, at the Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Avenue, in Austin. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are free but seating is limited to the capacity (1100) of the venue.

Temple's two films will be shown in the last group of six (Division 2, Narrative) with Heart On Sleeve the final film of the evening. The judge for the narrative category is Erin Searcy, vice-president of production at The Gersh Agency in Los Angeles (Facebook) and faculty member at the USC (University of Southern California) School of Cinematic Arts.

Here are YouTube links to Temple High's two state finalist films:
   Heart On Sleeve -- A short film written and directed by Jared Smith and starring Bonnie Langthorn and Eliah Fihn. Set in a world where each person's emotion is out on display, this film was screened at the Texas Thespian State Festival in Dallas in November 2013.
   V O R T E X -- A science-fiction short film written and directed by Jared Smith. Edited by Spencer Mathesen. Cinematography by Michael Guillen.

Below is part of an article by Susan Chandler that appeared in the Temple Daily Telegram on Sunday, April 13:

Temple Advances from District to Area (22 Years in a Row) Print Email

For the 22nd year in a row, Temple High School (Never the Sinner) was named district co-champion and advanced to the area contest. Midway High (Sweet Nothing in My Ear) was the other advancing school. The district 8-5A contest was held Friday, March 28 at the Midway ISD performing arts center in Hewitt, Texas.

Temple won four of the eight all-star cast awards: Josh Petersen, Chris Kleypas, Jared Smith and Michael Guillen. Scott Searles was named to the honorable mention all-star cast. Rosemary Winsor was named best technician. 

After Critic Judge Kay Coleman told the company about dialogue that she thought needed to be added back to the cutting of the play, she said, "I had to be picky. Your play doesn't have much wrong with it."

CLICK HERE for a photo album from the district contest.

The area contest will be Saturday, April 12, at Waxahachie High School, 1000 North Highway 77, Waxahachie, TX 75165. Ezekiel Morgan of Houston will serve as critic judge for the area contest. The performances will begin at 1:45 p.m. and run back-to-back. Audience members may only enter or leave between plays.

The performance order, approximate time, school and play titles include:
   (1) 1:45 p.m., Arlington Martin, Holy Ghosts
   (2) 2:30 p.m., Mansfield Timberview High, Angelina Project
   (3) 3:15 p.m., Grand Prairie High, Rabbit Hole
   (4) 4:00 p.m., Midway High, Sweet Nothing in My Ear
   (5) 4:45 p.m., Arlington High, The Cripple of Inishmaan
   (6) 5:30 p.m., Temple High, Never the Sinner

Two of the six schools will advance from area to the regional contest, to be held Thursday, May 1, at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

Below is a wonderful article by Susan Chandler from the March 30, 2014, Temple Daily Telegram with photos by Josh Quinn.

Former Temple Thespian on Billboard Country Chart Print Email

Temple High School graduate and former Thespian Eric Paslay, singer and songwriter, made his first appearance in February 2014 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with his self-titled debut album, which opened at No. 4. Eric's single, "Friday Night," was listed in Hot Country Songs. CLICK HERE for the YouTube video of Eric's single.

Eric graduated in 2000, and appeared in several Temple High School theatre productions, including The Wiz.

Temple Changes UIL Districts for 2014-2016 Print Email

Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Temple High School will move to UIL District 17-5A. With the UIL addiing a 6A conference, Temple essentially is dropping a conference, even though the school is keeping the 5A designation.

After having the smallest enrollment in the district from 2012 through 2014, Temple will have the largest enrollment (2027 students) in the new district. Other schools in 17-5A will be Manor High (2008 students), Pflugerville Connally (1963), Waco High (1737), Hutto High (1547), Waco University (1538) and Elgin High (1286).

Several one-act play rules will change in 2015, including advancing three plays (instead of two) from most contests, and adding an additional round of competition (bi-district).

More Qualifiers Than Any Other School in Texas Print Email

Temple High School Thespians had more events qualify to advance to the 2014 International Thespian Competition than any other school at the 2013 Texas Thespian State Convention, held November 21-24 in Dallas.

Out of the 12 categories entered, 11 Temple events advanced to the international competition in Lincoln, Nebraska, in June 2014. Two other schools (Cinco Ranch and Flower Mound) each had 10 events advance, but neither of those schools was also performing a main stage show at convention.

Temple's entry in Group Musical was named one of the three Main Stage Finalists, and performed at a callback audition  Saturday morning at 8 a.m. CLICK HERE to see the YouTube video of the group's first-round performance for the judges.

Temple performed The Secret Garden musical twice on Saturday on the convention's main stage. Marsha Norman (shown at the right), who wrote the book and lyrics for The Secret Garden, recorded a special video message congratulating the students. The video was played for the students just before their first performance. (Click on her photo to view the video.) Temple's two performances were delayed because of technical problems with the host theatre (their lighting console would not maintain control of the lights in the auditorium). They tried three separate light boards, but couldn't get any of their boards to work properly. Temple ended up using the lighting console they brought (and had originally set-up backstage to operate just the moving lights) to run the lighting system for the entire theatre.

Several students auditioned for college and university representatives, and received many callback requests.

CLICK HERE for an album of photos from the convention.

Tolleson Broadway NYC Trip June 10-15, 2014 Print Email

Register now to reserve your spot on a fabulous trip to New York City hosted by Temple Theatre Arts Teacher Natasha Tolleson. The 2014 trip will be Tuesday, June 10 through Sunday, June 15, 2014. The group's travel, hotel accommodations and airport transfers in New York City are being coordinated by School Tours of America. We will be flying out of Austin. There will also be a separate package of show and tour tickets (five Broadway shows and several tours). The total cost will be $1,945 per person (quad occupancy) or $2,395 per person (double occupancy). By using School Tours of America (STA), you will be able to register online, and make payments or partial payments through the company's website. You'll also be able to use a credit card for payments to STA. Final payment to STA will be due on or before March 15, 2014. Our trip number on the STA website is 6577

The registration fee is only $99.

CLICK HERE for the Information Sheet (PDF) about the trip.
CLICK HERE for the paper registration forms (PDF, large file).
STA website = www.SchoolToursOfAmerica.com

To contact Mrs. Tolleson when school is not in session, her personal email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Latest News from Playbill.com


Thespian Troupe #1966
Temple High School
   415 North 31st Street
   Temple, TX 76504

Natasha Tolleson
      (254) 215-7036

   B. K. Goodman
      (254) 215-7112

Ryan C. Beimer
      (254) 215-7302



2013-14 Highlights

Texas Thespians,
Main Stage Performance
The Secret Garden

11 Events Advance to
International Competition

10 Students Advance
to State Finals in
UIL Theatrical Design
(2nd Highest Number of
Any School in Texas)

Texas State Champion
UIL Film Contest
Division 2, Narrative

22 Years in a Row

Temple's UIL One-Act Play team has been the District Co-Champion for 22 years in a row (as of March 2014). No other UIL team at Temple High holds such a record.

2012-13 Highlights

International Thespian
Champion, Scenic Design

Texas Thespians,
All-Star Thespian Troupe

Eight Events Advance to
International Competition

3rd Place in the State,
Thespian Team Set Design

Four Students Perform
in the All-State Play

10 Students Advance
to State Finals in
UIL Theatrical Design
(2nd Highest Number of
Any School in Texas)

2nd Place in Texas,
UIL Group Theatrical Design

4th Place in Texas,
UIL Make-Up Design

4th Place in Texas,
UIL Marketing Design

2011-12 Highlights

International Thespian
Champion, Costume Design

Texas Top 12, UIL 5A
One-Act Play Competition
(Out of 254 schools)

10 Students Advance
to State Finals in
UIL Theatrical Design
(Highest Number in Texas)

Texas Thespians,
All-Star Thespian Troupe

Eight Events Advance to International Competition

1st Place in the State,
Thespian Mask Making

Four Students Selected
for the All-State Play

2010-11 Highlights

International Thespian Champion, Sound Design

International Thespian Co-Champion, Group Acting 

Texas Thespians,
All-Star Thespian Troupe

Nine Events Advance to International Competition

1st Place in the State,
Thespian Team Set Design

Three Students Performed
in the All-State Play

Six Students Advance to State Meet in UIL Theatrical Design

4th Place in the State,
UIL Group Dramatic Design

2009-10 Highlights

International Thespian Champion, Scenic Design

International Thespian Champion, Sound Design 

State Finalist (Final 8),
UIL 5A One-Act Play Contest (Out of 255 schools)

4th Place in the State,
UIL Group Dramatic Design

Texas Thespians,
All-Star Thespian Troupe

Nine Events Advance to International Competition

More UIL Theatrical Design State Finalists than any other school in Texas

2008-09 Highlights

International Thespian Champion, Theatre Marketing

International Thespian Champion, Stage Management 

Texas Thespians, All-Star Thespian Troupe

Texas Thespian Champion, Group Musical

Texas Top 12, UIL 5A One-Act Play Competition (Out of 255 schools)

4th Place in the State, UIL Group Dramatic Design

International Thespian
Top 2, Duet Mime

International Thespian
Final 4, Group Musical

2007-08 Highlights

International Thespian Champion, Group Musical

International Thespian Champion, Publicity Design

Texas Second Runner-Up at the state contest, UIL 5A One-Act Play Competition

Best Performer in Texas, UIL 5A One-Act Play Competition

Best Actor in Texas, UIL 5A One-Act Play Competition

Texas State Champion, UIL Group Dramatic Design (Conferences 1A-5A)

Texas Thespians, All-Star Thespian Troupe

2006-07 Highlights

Texas State Champion, UIL 5A One-Act Play Competition

Best Performer in Texas, UIL 5A One-Act Play Competition

Best Actress in Texas, UIL 5A One-Act Play Competition

Best Actor in Texas, UIL 5A One-Act Play Competition

Other Years

International Thespian Champion, Scenic Design

Texas Second Runner-Up at the state contest, UIL 5A One-Act Play Competition

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