Thespians thrive at theater convention


Caroline Oelkers and Sarah Locke show off their stage makeup after a workshop.

This year, thirty-two Westminster students attended the Georgia Thespian Conference in Columbus, GA. This is the fifth year that Westminster students have attended the conference, and one of the most successful years yet.

With 3,883 Georgia thespians in attendance, ThesCon is split up into two tracks, Purple and Green. As a part of the Purple track, Westminster students attended workshops, plays, and the annual dance, with half of the students attending.

The students stayed in the DoubleTree Inn, about ten miles away from the convention center. They arrived at about 4 pm on Thursday, Feb. 7, and departed Sunday, Feb. 10. Led by senior ThesCon Chairs Matthew Greene and Christine Lopez, this year’s attendees had a great time.

During the conference, students participated in workshops led by professional actors and directors. These hour and a half long classes aim to help high school actors learn new techniques and strengthen their skills.  Examples of such workshops include: “No Script, No Shoes, No Problem: Performance” and “Okay, I’m Singing – But What Do I Do With My Hands?” Not just learning, students have fun meeting thespians from other schools and finding friends from the year before.

“The workshops were fun and educational,” commented junior Caroline Oelkers, “but for me the best part was the dance.”

In addition to workshops, students also had the opportunity to attend performances. Tickets had to be requested a few weeks in advance and could be difficult to attain. Jekyll and Hyde and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee proved to be popular with Westminster students.

Junior Hannah Rose Adams and senior Rachel Insolia both competed in the sewing portion of the “tech challenge.” Their challenge was to sew a button in the fastest time.

“It was nice to have a competitive edge added to an area of theater where it’s not usually found,” said Adams.

“This is the first year that Westminster entered in that challenge, and we were very proud of them,” said Kate Morgens, director of theatre arts. “They were coached by Laura Boyd, head of Westminster’s new sewing club.”

Senior Sarah Scott was one of 11 students to earn the Achievement Scholarship after several rounds of auditions, a $2,000 scholarship to the college of her choice.

Seniors Kevin Qian and Kelsey Crane earned “superior” ratings for their performance of “What Could Be Better” from the musical Baby. A “superior” rating is the highest possible rating at ThesCon for an individual entry. Seniors Maggie Norsworthy and Dorothy Reeves performed “Some Things Are Meant to Be” from Little Women, and junior Caroline Oelkers and sophomore Alex Foote sang “Secondary Characters” from Title of Show.

A highlight for Greene was an improv class with Christine Lopez, Kevin Qian, sophomore Laura Russell, and freshman Jake Smith.  They were divided randomly into teams and then performed.

“It was really fun to see all the other thespians improvise,” said Greene. “It was often hysterical.”

For many Westminster thespians, this was the last year they could attend due to graduation.

“I feel sad it’s over, but more complete overall from the experiences,” said Greene. “It’s definitely been a highlight of my time spent at Westminster.”