This week the spotlight shines brightly on our Upper School Theatre program and the Canterbury Thespian Troupe #5782. This past week, they competed at the largest theatre event in the world - the Florida State Thespian Festival in Tampa, Florida. Over the course of the four-day festival, held March 15 -18, fourteen Canterbury theatre students competed with 8,000 theatre students from across the state. Each event is adjudicated by a three-judge panel as either Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent, or Superior. Awards are given to students earning Excellent and Superior which represent the top 25 percent of all performances.
"We set a goal that every piece would receive an award of Excellent or Superior," says Canterbury Director of Fine & Performing Arts, Will Eyerly. "It is a lofty goal at the state level."
The Canterbury Theatre students accepted the challenge and worked hard to raise the bar on all their performances. Their hard work paid off and they achieved their goal. Each school is limited to six competitive events at the state level. These events must have earned a Superior at the district level. Canterbury earned thirteen Superiors at districts and out of those, the following six were selected for the state festival:
Michael M. ’19 directed and presented a scene from "A Curious Savage" with actors Bianca D. ’17, Cosette D. ’19, Humberto R. ’19, and Jay M. ’19 and received an award of Excellent.
Angie P. ’18 and Sam O. ’18 presented a Duet Acting scene from the play "Matterhorn" by Rich Orloff and were awarded Excellent, just missing a Superior by two points.
Sam O. ’18 presented his costume designs for "Legally Blonde - The Musical" and earned an award of Excellent. He received a Superior from one of the three judges and was one point shy of an overall Superior award.
Another Duet Acting Scene from the play "Lovesick" by Mia Romeo was presented by Kyanah F. ’18 and Simrun V. ’19. They also received an award of Excellent, missing a Superior by a just one point!
Peyton H. ’17 received a Superior from one of three judges and excellent from the other two resulting in an overall Excellent award for her publicity design for "Legally Blonde - The Musical".
Finally, capping off the festival was Evan R. ’19 presenting monologues from the play "Unbearable Hotness" as well as the classic Tennessee Williams play "Glass Menagerie". His dynamic, high energy performance of these contrasting pieces earned him the top award of Superior.
"We are such a young troupe," Director Will Eyerly notes. "Six sophomores, three juniors, and only two seniors were involved in the competitive events. The future is very bright for the program."
Theatre students Sarah E. ’18, Magnolia C. ’19, and Netta A. ’18 also attended the festival as delegates and helped support their peers in rehearsal and attended the competitive events. They also participated in workshops and saw multiple shows at the performing arts venues.