January 28, 2016
Columbus Middle School’s Junior Thespian Troupe 89074 in Columbus, Mississippi, is the recipient of the Educational Theatre Association’s inaugural 2016 Send a Troupe to Junior Festival grant, which will cover the troupe’s travel and registration expenses for the Junior Thespian Festival.
EdTA's Junior Thespian Festival is a national event dedicated to middle school theatre. This event provides students in grades six through eight and their teachers with opportunities to celebrate theatre, develop skills, and make new friends.
Eighteen Columbus students and six chaperones will travel to Denison, Texas, February 12-14, 2016, where students will participate in workshops and see main stage shows performed by their peers. Thirteen of those students will be participating in National Individual Events, in the categories of duet acting, group acting, group musical theatre, solo musical theatre, monologue, and stage management.
“I am so thrilled for our school to receive this grant,” says Troupe Director Chelsea Petty. “At the Festival I want them to have fellowship with other kids their age who are like them.”
“At Junior Festival, Columbus Thespians will have access to training and performances that inspire creativity while reinforcing skills, knowledge, and continuous development,” says Junior Thespian Festival Director Craig Branch. “These experiences are exciting and will empower these students to embrace their artistic abilities, and to be stronger learners, leaders, and citizens.”
The Send a Troupe to Festival grant was created in December 2011, with the goal of helping a deserving Thespian troupe participate in the 2012 International Thespian Festival. The grant was created for troupes that have never previously attended the Thespian Festival and can demonstrate financial barriers to attending. Since 2012, seven high schools from across the country have been selected to receive the grant, and the success of this initiative led to the launch of the Send a Troupe to Junior Festival grant.