March 21, 2017
Troupes in Maryland and Kansas will get to attend the International Thespian Festival thanks to the Educational Theatre Association’s 2017 Send a Troupe to Festival grant, which will cover the troupes’ travel and registration expenses. The recipients are the Jemicy School's Thespian Troupe 8269 in Owings Mills, Maryland, and Fort Scott High School's Thespian Troupe 7365 in Fort Scott, Kansas. At Festival, held June 19-24 in Lincoln, Nebraska, students will participate in workshops conducted by theatre professionals, and in the National Individual Events program, see productions by schools from across the country, and audition for colleges.
The Jemicy School is a private school that serves students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences, processing issues, attention deficit disorders, and executive function deficits. Troupe Director Sean Elias says “The benefits of attending Festival are boundless and are sure to pay dividends both in my classroom, in their art form, in my Thespians’ maturation, and within their lives.” A current student struggled in his previous school, but after participating in the theatre program at Jemicy explained, “Getting involved with the theatre has been life-changing. It’s something I want to do, I don’t consider it work.” Watch Troupe 8269 learn they'll be attending Festival.
The majority of Fort Scott High School’s students receive free and reduced school lunches. More than 10 percent of the student body participates in the theatre program, which focuses heavily on community outreach and mentoring, developing a Junior Thespian Troupe at a local middle school in addition to their standard theatre classes and performances. "Witnessing a variety of other school productions and having the chance to audition to perform with students from other schools would help our students grow creatively in both their acting and technical theatre skills," says Troupe Director Angie Bin. "This opportunity will truly be the most educational and eye-opening theatre experience our students would ever have.” Check out the students' reaction to hearing the news of the grant.