This past Wednesday, CCHS Thespians excitedly departed for the Florida State Thespian Festival, ready for long days packed with workshops, performances and fun. The festival ran from March 14 to March 17 and was located in Tampa.
Nine total Cooper City High drama club students drove up for the festival as the event was opened to anybody who competed at the district competition in December and earned a Superior. Two CCHS students, Thespians President Rylee Berger and junior Paige Hittenberger, are planning on competing for awards and ratings.
There are many workshops available for students, covering a wide range of interests and activities. These workshops are open to anyone, whether they have decided to compete or not. Taught by a number of professionals such as Matt Burke, Mickey Solis, Erin Carr and so many more, each class focuses on a very specific skill or topic. Many of these workshops are centered around acting, for those wishing to improve their skills. For example, “Secrets of a Superior” focuses on how to succeed at competitions, whereas “Tears, Laughter and Rage: Assessing Emotional States” hones in on bringing feeling and emotion to performance. Other acting workshops include “Shakespeare’s Secrets: Mining the Text for Acting Clues” and “Accessing Passion,” as well as many, many more.
Workshops are also available on topics such as movement or dancing. A “Basic Sword Technique” class is offered as a movement class, as well as others such as “Falls and Rolls in Combat.” Dancing classes teach choreography from various musicals such as Hairspray and Newsies.
These workshops also extend beyond theatre for those with other interests. Many focus on singing and vocal development, while some are offered for playwriting, film acting and even directing. “Theatre as a social voice,” “How to Audition on Screen” and “Monumental Moves: Devising Theatre for Social Justice and Equity” are a few of many of these types of classes.
There are also many workshops offered for those who wish to pursue acting as a career. Students can attend classes that specialize in how to perfect a theatre or film audition, classes which center around getting a perfect headshot and classes based upon being successful in the industry.
Along with these workshops, individual events are also taking place. Participants have the ability to select the sessions they wish to attend according to their interests. Each aspect of theatre and film are offered at these events, including but not limited to costume design, duet acting, ensemble acting, student direction and scene design.
Finally, participants have the option of watching others compete, and viewing performances. They can view One Act performances which are shorter, or they can view Mainstage performances which are full-length shows selected by the state.
“States is such a beneficial experience because it teaches everybody so many new skills,” Drama Club President Rylee Berger said. “It allows us to grow in many areas that we couldn’t go as in depth into during a class at school. It is also an amazing experience as we get to connect with Thespians from all over the state.”
Photo by Sarah Khan