Class after class at Durango High School delights theater lovers with their skills and talent, and members of this year’s Thespian Troupe 1096 are no exception.
Earlier this month, 27 students traveled with drama teacher and director Benjamin Mattson to Denver for the Colorado State Thespians Conference, affectionately known as ThesCon. About 5,000 young theater aficionados attend the many workshops offered, but not all compete.
Usually, about 60 students from the state qualify to compete at the International Thespian Conference including in onstage and behind-the-stage work, such as acting, musical theater and technical theater categories. This year, 17 of the 27-member Durango contingent qualified.
Nathan Brinkley won “Best Lighting Design” in the state for his work on “Legally Blonde.” Sierra Kelly was selected to perform her musical theater solo for the final showcase in front of the 5,000 attendees.
Seven students received perfect scores from the judges: Baylee Peterson, Rebekah Fowler, Sierra Kelly, Hope Frihauf, Curtis Salinger and McKenzie James.
Curtis, you may recall, was named the “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical” in Colorado last year, going on to win two scholarships at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards over the summer, so he continues to shine.
The other 10 students who qualified for nationals, which will take place in June in Lincoln, Nebraska, are Tiffany Harris, Ethan Casselberry, Nathan Brinkley, Payten Craig, Jenna Szczech, Shane Minerich, Ataley Villaseñor, Egan Lindsay, Isabel Whitehead and Matti Guillette.
If you haven’t been to DHS to see a production, I urge you to go. Their talent shines, whether it’s in a piece of modern theater, Shakespeare or musicals.
The curtain will go up on five one-act plays directed by students on Jan. 13, so there’s your next opportunity.
Visit http://troupe1096.weebly.com/ to learn more, buy tickets or learn how to support these students as they travel to the conference in June.
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