This year, I was lucky enough to be the ITO representative for the Maryland Thespian Festival. I was also lucky enough to get an AWESOME EdTA Rep, Mrs. Martha Louden. Mrs. Louden picked me up from the airport on Thursday night and we got to have dinner together before heading to the hotel. I love talking with people from other states and finding out how their programs work and their chapters run.
We woke up on Friday morning and headed to Huntingtown High School. This was the first year Huntingtown hosted and they did an amazing job! Though it was cold, myself and the STO ran out to greet the busses as they came in. Once everyone was registered, we started with one acts! Maryland had some truly amazing one acts. Unfortunately, I did not get to see their winning one act myself. I was lucky enough to see all of their costumes and hear the judges’ comments though. The costuming, hair, and makeup were PHENOMINAL. All of the judges had amazing comments as well. I love getting to see how many talented Thespians there are!
By mid- morning, the STO had already sold all of the ducks! I was extremely impressed. After the first couple of one act, it was time for another fundraiser. This year, Maryland did something brand new. They had a “Trash Bag Competition.” Each group got different pieces of trash, a trash bag, and tape. They had to make a costume in 5 minutes that was either a hero or villain costume. Then, the audience voted for which costume they wanted to win by placing dollar bills in their buckets. This was such a cool fundraiser!
I got to teach my leadership workshop twice while I was in Maryland. Both times I had a really good attendance. I genuinely enjoyed getting to talk with the other student leaders. I met some amazing students in my workshop. I also got to teach an advocacy workshop. I had a small turnout, but I really enjoyed getting to know each person in the workshop. We got the chance to talk about their individual situations, which was really nice.
Saturday, I helped Mrs. DeLucchi with the IEs. Maryland switched to an online IE system this year. It was really cool to watch their chapter grow come up with new ideas and ways of doing things. This year Maryland grew by another 100 participants.
At the end of the day on Saturday, it was time for closing and awards. I loved hanging out with the STO and helping during awards. I loved getting to see all of the schools get so excited for each student that got an award. One of my favorite parts of each festival is getting to see the reactions from the people that receive scholarships. The excitement in their faces is priceless, and it makes me smile every time. At the end of festival, it is a tradition that the STO who raised the most money over the weekend gets pied in the face; this year was no different. After the pie, festival came to a close.
I had an absolutely wonderful time in Maryland. Thank you so much, Maryland, for being such gracious hosts! Congratulations on a successful festival.