Temple Thespians Invade Lincoln, Nebraska for
International Competition, June 23-29
Temple Thespian Troupe members competed at the International Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln June 23-29. Temple's competitors advanced from the state convention (held last November in Fort Worth) to the international contest.
Alexandra Tolleson won the International Thespian Competition in Publicity Design for Tartuffe. Thumper Gosney (costume design) and Nathan Graham (scenic design) also competed, but were not selected as first place. Only first place names are announced in the technical competitions.
Emily Kleypas competed in monologue, but was not selected for a callback in that contest. There were 65 entries in the monologue contest, and only five received callbacks.
Temple's Group Musical entry was selected as one of two schools for "private callbacks" before a judging panel. The judging panel for callbacks selected Temple's Group Musical entry as the 2008 International Thespian Contest Winner, and the group performed twice Friday morning for the entire convention (2600 people) in two different auditoriums.
It is extremely rare for one troupe to win two international awards at the same festival. The convention program lists 280 Thespian Troupes as attending the festival, with the furtherest listed as from the United Arab Emirates.
The group musical participants are directed by Natasha Tolleson and include Chris Burrow, Anya Godigamuwe, Corrie Hermans, Cory Kosel (soloist), Farrell Matthews, Elizabeth Pasichnyk, John Patterson, Scott Ray, Matt Rublee, Stephanie Scherer (soloist), Trenton Schneiders, Samantha Sheffer, Rachel Ann Stonestreet, Sarah Jo White and Shalyssa Wright. Phillip Vriseno operates the musical accompaniment.
The last contest Temple won at the International Competition was in 2004 for Scenic Design.
Four incoming seniors (Corrie Hermans, Emily Kleypas, Alexandra Tolleson and Shalyssa Wright) all participated in college auditions. Each girl performed a brief audition before college and university representatives. The universities then issued callback invitations to those students they would like to visit with personally. All four Temple girls received multiple callbacks from the schools.
Nathan Graham received several callbacks from his technical theatre college auditions.
The group attended several workshop sessions at the festival and also saw shows performed by many other high-school groups. These shows included Chicago, Hairspray, Sweeney Todd, Little Shop of Horrors and Noises Off.
CLICK HERE to see the Group Musical contest entry from Lincoln, Nebraska, on June 24.
CLICK HERE for the ThespianR.Us Snapfish group room to view photos from the Nebraska adventure. More photos are being added everyday.
CLICK HERE to see a rehearsal of the Group Musical before its callback performance.
CLICK HERE to leave a message in our guestbook.
CLICK HERE to read an article from NYTimes.com about this year's festival in Lincoln.
Group Musical winners and Publicity Design winner at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Display for the 2008 International Thespian Winner in Publicity Design by Alexandra Tolleson
One of the shows the group attended was And Then They Came for Me, which involved Eva Schloss (pictured with Temple's Claressa Caswell). Eva is a Holocaust and
Auschwitz survivor, a childhood friend of Anne Frank, and become Anne's stepsister when Eva's mother married Anne's father, Otto. Eva took questions from the audience following the very moving play. The university scheduled a book signing Saturday afternoon, but for a convention of over 2600 people, the Nebraska Bookstore ordered only 50 copies of Eva's book, so they were sold out before the signing even began.