Drama club goes to Texas Thespians State Festival

Emma Bohmann, Staff Writer

One of the most anticipated and loved events for Texas Thespians, or theater students, is Texas Thespians State Festival. 

Each year, the week before Thanksgiving, all Texas Thespian troupes attend TTSF in either Grapevine or San Antonio for about 4 days. There, they can attend workshops, watch other high school productions, and compete in state or national events, as well as meet other Texas theater students. 

This year, Klein Collins had many Thespians attend for the first time, both freshmen and upperclassmen, including Illiana Marrero, David Crocker, Liberty Quinton, Madison Lindeman, and Bailey Boles.

Many of these Thespians have friends who have gone to TTSF before, so they thought they knew in advance what to expect. However, it’s hard to fully understand what the festival is like until you go. Thespian festival is unlike any other theater event, especially because of how many thespians go each year.

“There were a lot more people than I thought there would be, which made me uncomfortable,” junior David Crocker said. “But I was glad to feel that I actually enjoyed more parts of it than I thought I would.”

With so many attendees in one festival, there is a wide variety of workshops hosted by professionals and educators from across the country. For many thespians, this is their favorite part of TTSF because they get to learn about many aspects of theater.

“I had a really fun time at this one pop singing karaoke workshop,” freshman Bailey Boles said. “Next year, I want to plan out my workshops and schedule more.”

At TTSF, when students aren’t going to workshops or hanging out with other thespians, they can be found competing in events at either the state or national level, such as Tech Challenge, Hair and Makeup Design, Solo Musical, Prop Design, or Improv Challenge. 

In the case of the drama club, each of these events had a KCD Thespian compete. Many of these competitors had never been to TTSF before, like senior Illiana Marrero for the Prop Competition.

“My first reaction when I got State Superior was just, ‘Wow,’” Marrero said. “It’s definitely a great experience and learning thing to do, and I would recommend that everyone who goes tries it out.”

Some of the KCD Thespians even entered in multiple competitions, including sophomore Liberty Quinton. She participated in Solo Musical and Improv Team Challenge and was very successful, especially considering that it was her first TTSF. Aside from placements and awards, the most rewarding part about competing was the learning and experiences that were gained.

“My favorite thing was definitely competing in Solo Musical,” Quinton said. “Waiting for improv and the stress of competing were challenging, but I’m looking forward to going back to compete in Solo Musical.”

Although these TSTF newcomers created lots of memories and enjoyed the challenges, there are some things they have their eyes on for next year. Being able to watch other performances allowed these KCD students to decide on a game plan for next year.

“Something I’m wanting to do next year is the lip sync competition,” junior Madison Lindeman said. “I want to do that so badly because I saw it and it was the coolest thing ever.”

Now that these drama students have experienced TSTF, they can now pass on their knowledge and advice to the new thespians next year. Although the focus was on learning about theater and performing, TSTF is also about thespians spending time with their friends and troupes that they couldn’t anywhere else.

“If I had one tip for someone going to Thespian for the first time, it would be to have fun,” Marrero said. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience you get and I would just enjoy it as much as you can.”