The venue was buzzing with a life of its own as hundreds of thespians gathered in preparation for their own respective events. Stage lights beamed down onto the set as a still air fills through the room, and suddenly, a swell of anticipation manifests itself within the confines of the large auditorium. The lights dimmed and a line of dancers strutted their way across the stage, possessing a gravity unto themselves that captivated the audience.
“State is a place where thespians have the opportunity to showcase their individual talents and callings, unbound by the traditional confines of a role in a show. Events ranged from choreographed dances, duet musical performances or solo performances,” said junior Rodrigo Colunga, three-year member of the the Theatre Company.
Thespians, who are members of the Tompkins Theatre Company, range in the performances they brought to state. Students were encouraged to perform something that they are passionate about and find subjects which have greater emotional magnitude than the ones typically seen within a fall or spring show. For example, juniors Bridget Walton and Rodrigo Colunga performed a duet acting scene over the sexuality of an author in the early 1900s.
“State allowed us to perform scenes or dances that we found especially entertaining, allowing a greater sense of freedom and expression. At the same time, it allowed for groups of students to come together and bond over the effort they put into their performances,” said senior McKenzie Fisher, a four-year member of the Theatre Company.
A greater sense of autonomy for thespians allowed for expression of their personal interests, but also meant that these performances are entirely constructed by the performers. Acts such as group dance performances, presented themselves as fantastic displays of what these talented students can accomplish creatively and their capacity to work and cooperate with others.
“The experience of state was something I hope that anyone who loves theatre, whether it be musical or traditional, gets to experience. It had an atmosphere that one can sense how important this means to the performers and the amount of effort put into every act,” said Fisher.
The Theatre Company had several performances at state. Acts from Tompkins students included junior Ever Williams performing “I Dreamed a Dream”, juniors Bridget Walton and Rodrigo Colunga performed a duet acting scene, an ensemble of thespians performed a dance to the song “Raise You Up” from the Broadway show Kinky Boots, and several more. The Theatre Company performed from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18.
The following students competed in national qualifying events:
Ever Williams performed in the solo musical category with “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables
Caylie Howard performed in the solo musical category with “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl
Noelle Chesser performed in the monologue category with dialogue from A Piece of My Heart and Talking With…
Sydney Novosad and Joseph Chavez performed in the duet musical category with “Seventeen” from Heathers the Musical
Bridget Walton and Rodrigo Colunga performed in the duet acting category with a scene from Cabaret
Ryan Kearton, Nick Januhowski, Tyler Roberts, Jose Cafaro and Brock Huerter performed in the group musical category with “Turn it Off” from The Book of Mormon Musical
Alexa Schmok entered into the costume design category with designs for The Lion King
Luiza Borges entered into the costume design category with designs for The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Jacob Wilson entered into the sound design category with work designed from Zombie Prom
The above individual events get judged by three judges in a preliminary round, which determines whether or not that event qualifies for nationals. If the event gets perfect scores from all three judges in prelims it qualifies to go on to the final round to determine if they will get to perform on the main stage in front of the entire festival. There were almost 8,000 Thespians in attendance. Both Williams, with her solo musical, and Kearton, Januhowski, Roberts, Cafaro, and Huerter, with their group musical, qualified for finals. They didn’t get selected to perform main stage but still made the theater department proud.
The following students competed in Texas only events and placed:
Mia Broussard, Gracie Dietrich, Addi Hurst and Jane Lee placed second in Team Hair and Make-up Design
Cami Geiger and Brock Huerter recieved an Audience Favorite award and first place Lone Star Talent Extravaganza
Sydney Novosad auditioned and made the All State Cast for the Texas Thespian closing ceremony. She got to perform with Broadway star Mamie Parris who plays Grizabella in the musical Cats on Broadway currently and played Elphaba in the touring company of Wicked.
Out of all the schools that competed at Texas Thespians, Tompkins had the second most national qualifiers in the state. The only school who had more was Temple High School with 10 national qualifiers. Out of the Katy ISD schools Tompkins had 9, Seven Lakes had 8, Cinco Ranch 4, Taylor had 4, Morotn Ranch had 4, Katy had 3 and Mayde Creek had 2.