Thespians Do It Onstage Pt 1


Arriving Home from the CA Thespian Festival

NSHS Thespians attended the California State Thespian Festival March 28 – 30, 2014 in Upland. What a great time! We saw some of the most moving high school theatre around–snippets from Sweeny Todd and Almost Maine were among our favorites. This is the first of a two-part report of what we did at Festival.

Thursday & Pre-Festival Prep

Traveling with Salinas High School, we all boarded the bus @ 4:30 pm and joined Pacific Collegiate High School Thespians from Santa Cruz. You know you are on a bus on the way to the California Thespian Festival when all 50 kids are singing “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen…ON KEY.

We stopped and got bad fast food and waited in some horrendous traffic, but that’s also part of the experience. Kids were singing, playing games and guitars, talking AP and politics, and eating more bad-for-you food.

We arrived to our hotel around 11:30, checked in, and got the only decent sleep for the entire weekend as it was nonstop theatre from Friday 9:30 am to Sunday 1:00 pm.

NSHS Thespian Troupe 4914’s President Adrian and VP Kiana represented our troupe on the Main Stage in an opening number they had to memorize prior to arriving at Festival. They spent quite a few hours watching the YouTube link and learning a complicated, yet exhilarating dance routine.

Friday: It’s Show Time!

On Friday all the students competed and/or auditioned. Most NSHS students auditioned for the All-State Show which consists of two themed acts. Students are to find a selection that jives with the theme of “Infinite Perspectives.”  Audition pieces may be acting, singing, dancing or other appropriate talent as long as the piece fits the theme of the act. Auditions are limited to one minute for individuals and two minutes for groups. It’s not a long time to strut your stuff, so you must be super rehearsed and ready.

Act 1: Seeking Fortune, Finding Tragedy

  • Every light creates shadows.
  • Luxury is not everlasting; what you think is the source of your happiness could ultimately be the source of your misery.
  • Sometimes the desire to achieve more blinds you from all you already have.
  • Every rose has its thorns, so what are yours?

Act II: Finding Light in the Dark 

  • With every dark cloud there is a silver lining.
  • You must remember that tomorrow will come, and the sun will part the darkness.
  • If you look hard enough, you may just find that you are the source of light, so find what makes you shine.

King, dancer from the Unknowns, was cast. In fact, he was the opener for his act!

Let’s do our own!

So I was thinking about doing a All-State style show for our final this year…We could find interesting selections of dance, movement, acting, or anything else that goes with our theme.

Think of all the great work we have done this year: we could put our individual acts together into a cohesive show. You would have to memorize something. Sorry, you can’t lip sync. Let’s do a two minute routine if going solo or up to five for groups. You would have to learn a super simple song/dance for the opening and closing of our show. We would rehearse it a bunch of times, tech, and perform it during senior finals. Oh, and we would invite a real audience…

So tell us

What themes could we use to create our Finals Show? Love? Choices? Family? It needs to be fairly broad so we can have lots of material from which to choose, but not so general that almost anything goes…

Give us another suggestion of a theme other than the three ones listed above and why it might be a good fit for your class. Confused about themes? Check out one definition here.


Categories: International Thespian Association, Uncategorized


28 replies

  1. A theme that could have been a good option is commercials. It is a broad theme, because you can make a commercial out of any subject, and also make it to your own liking.

  2. Comedy is always great! people tend to get a good laugh even if its bad comedy because it makes things so awkward, which I find completely entertaining!

  3. A suggestive theme could be real life. Most students are more comfortable with performing something they can relate to.

  4. Some good themes could be school and real life. And maybe even reality vs. fantasy like how we hope things would go but how they really are. And Disney could be another great theme.

  5. I think a theme about teenage life would be pretty cool, because everyone can relate to it.

  6. I think a good theme would be embarrassing moments because there is nothing better than being able to look back at them and laugh at yourself. Plus it would be really fun !

  7. There are a lot of interesting themes out there. Most people like comedy because it gives them happiness.

  8. One theme I liked was Disney. Shawn Sigala is 5th period’s TA, so it could be executed perfectly. We each could draw out of a hat a Disney character to portray on stage.

  9. I like the idea of mystery. Everyone could be on the edge of their seats dying to figure out the play. Plot twists everywhere. Something someone could not predict so easily.

  10. I also got 3rd place for the dancing and singing category for Showcase for my lip sync. of “What’s This?” from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).

  11. Some themes could be a mysterious romance or danger. These are great because they create suspense and make you want to watch more of it. You will definitely keep the audience on their toes.

  12. Good themes that you could choose include mystery and parody. The various brain exercises a mystery can provide can really capture the audience’s attention. And everybody loves to laugh at a good parody of other famous works.

  13. One theme that I would recommend is comedy because period three always has a lot of energy in the morning and could definitely come up with humorous ideas to entertain the crowd.

  14. The theme I would suggest is comedy. I suggest this because the audience always enjoys a funny show and the people can have a fun time.

  15. Another suggestion could be a comedy. In my opinion, high school kids don’t really pay attention to shows that don’t have some kind of comedy in it.

  16. I think comedy would be a really good theme to use because I think that’s what draw people in to watching it since everyone loves comedy.

  17. As an actor myself I believe that comedy is one of the best themes that can be performed live on stage because actors can feed off of the energy from the crowds laughter. It can be a skit or a musical but I believe that comedy might be the adequate theme for a final, especially for a class that has many comedians (wink, wink).

  18. I think that a good theme would be individualism. From personal experience and having seen students struggle with finding who they want to be or who they should be or what they want to accomplish or who they should hang out with, I think it’s a theme that would allow our class to express their opinions and that can go multiple ways, depending on how you interpret it.

  19. Some themes you could use would be action and comedy. Action pulls people in because people love violence. Comedy always works because people can use a good laugh to relieve stress or just to have a good time.

%d bloggers like this: