A Fresh Start for the State High Thespians


Returning Thespians help teach the homecoming parade dance to new members. Dancing in the homecoming parade is one of many annual performances Thespians participates in throughout the school year. “I’m not performing in [the parade] because of Marching Band but I know the dance very well and I think it is very fun and I think that the people who are going to be in it will have a lot of fun because doing it while walking will be very exhilarating,” sophomore Logan Glaze said.

Isabelle Snyder, Staff Writer

Start up the music and put on your jazz shoes-State High Thespians is back! The first Thespians meeting of the year was held in the Cafeteria LGI after school on Wednesday, September 4th. With an attendance of almost 100 new and returning members, the year started off with a bang, which was fitting considering all the Troupe has planned for the months to come. 

After years in limbo, Thespians will finally be moving into their permanent space in October. In 2017, The House at Pooh Corner, a children’s one-act play, was the final production staged in the North Auditorium, the Thespians facility for nearly 75 years. In the spring of 2018, Once Upon a Mattress, the spring musical, was performed in the Playhouse Theatre on the Penn State campus. The following year, both Macbeth and Newsies, the fall play and spring musical respectively, were performed in the refurbished South Auditorium, now the Cafeteria LGI. Suffice it to say, a permanent space has been a long time coming.

The new facilities will include a Black Box rehearsal space, dressing rooms, a costume shop, and the performance hall, the official auditorium of the new school. “Honestly, I’m not too involved in tech normally,” senior Thespian Nicole McFadden Derrer said, “but I’m kind of excited to see all the new fancy tech stuff that this auditorium can do. Also, an actual pit will be cool, even though it’s very deep.”

Despite the impending move in October, Thespians has no plans for a slow start to the season. In keeping with annual tradition, the Troupe will be performing a song-and-dance routine along the homecoming parade route, led by the group’s seniors riding on the Thespians float. This year, the troupe has chosen “Oh the Thinks You Can Think” from Seussical the Musical, fitting considering the Dr. Suess inspired theme: The Places We’ll Go in 20-2-0. The dance, choreographed by seniors John Michael Rosenblume and Sarah Cook, will be taught during General Meetings in the coming month.

Auditions for the fall comedy, Museum, were held the week of September 23, with the cast list posted the following weekend. The first production in the new Performance Hall, Museum tells the story of an art gallery in the final days of a show. Over the course of the play, nearly 40 visitors of all shapes and sizes enter the gallery, each internalizing and reflecting in their own way. With a cast of nine boys and nine girls, Museum is larger than the typical Thespians fall production. A large cast ensures onstage opportunities for a greater number of performers while simultaneously increasing opportunities for the more technically inclined. Believe it or not, Museum takes place in a museum, requiring a set populated by student-made sculptures and paintings. In terms of lighting and sound design, Museum needs very little on both counts. As the first real event to occur in the Performance Hall, it is unknown if all lights and sound equipment will be fully operational, so a show that focuses on a hand-crafted set and a colorful cast of characters is the perfect choice. 

In many ways, this year serves a fresh start for the State High Thespians, in everything from show selection to facilities. “I think having enough stage space is going to be very good, because last year when we did Macbeth, and especially Newsies, there was a lack of stage space and also seating,” Logan Glaze, sophomore, said. “Having a balcony will be very nice and having a real pit will be extremely nice because we won’t have to take seats out, and also it will feel more official.”