By Cate Cannon
After competing at the District 12 Thespian Festival in Lake Minneola this past December, the Oak Hall Thespian Troupe has advanced numerous groups to the state competition in March.
At the district competition, most Oak Hall students received a “superior” or “excellent” overall rating on their events. There are three adjudicators for each event, and those scores are averaged, or they add up to an overall score. “Superior” is recognized as the highest, followed by “excellent”, “good”, “fair”, and “poor”.
Troupe advisor, Middle and Upper School theatre teacher Brooke Molitor, knows her students work hard. “The students have learned that the more work and the more effort that you put into something, the [prouder] you will be of the work at the end,” she said. “It will be more satisfying for you at the end to know that you did everything you could,” she continued. With the goal of getting to the state thespian festival in mind, the students worked long hours to perfect their craft.
Sophomore Julia Curtis is grateful for the opportunities she has received through her involvement with the Thespians. She and her co-thespians chose their pieces early in the school year. They only began practicing for the competition, however, after the all-school production of Matilda ended its run this past fall. The thespians inspire each other to work hard, which is clear for Curtis as she received an “excellent” ranking for “Duet Musical” and “Duet Acting”.
Curtis is not the only thespian to have gratifying results. Five groups from Oak Hall qualified for the State Thespian Festival, the largest state festival in America, after receiving an overall “superior” ranking on their pieces: Christina Sarantos for “Costume Design”, Akhila Nataraj for “Solo Musical”, Alexa Katz and Megan Whittel for “Duet Acting”, Anya AitSahlia and Akhila Nataraj for “Duet Musical”, and Jenn Berthy and Tori Kitchens for “Duet Musical”.
Sophomore Jennifer Berthy, who received one overall “superior” and two overall “excellent” rankings, says that if she were to change anything in the future, she would “try out for a solo and do more events to have a better chance of going to state,” she said.
Junior Alexa Katz, president of the Oak Hall Thespian Troupe, has been involved in theater since she was a little girl. Now, being a thespian is one of the most central parts of her life. Like Berthy, Katz would like to participate in more events in the future. Next year will be her last district competition and chance to qualify for the state festival.
A high school performer herself, Molitor knows art is in the eye of the beholder. “I coach and direct the students in the best way that I can to showcase them in the best light, to showcase their piece in the best light, but ultimately, it is subjective,” she said. Molitor is grateful, however, that she gets to work with such a talented group of students, and they are grateful to have a teacher like her to look up to.