Behind the Curtain


Olivia Garrett

Sophomores Addison Hurst and Medhavi Patwardan buzz with anticipation as the charter bus pulls around the front of Tompkins High School to take the theatre company to the annual Texas Thespian state convention. This is the girls’ first time going and they could not be more excited to show off their talents. As they climb on the bus, the girls begin to mentally rehearse their events with hopes to impress the judges and qualify for the national competition. With bags packed and hopes high, the bus leaves the school and is bound for Dallas.

“I have never been before, but basically we leave Wednesday and Thursday and the events begin. Each day there are different events, including scenic and acting, and workshops like mask making, then we leave on Saturday,” Hurst said.

Hurst hopes her first state convention will be a success. The plethora of events preformed and workshops offered allow thespians to enrich their skills and learn from other performers from all around Texas. Performances on the main stage showcase the best of the best high school plays from the state of Texas, which are highly anticipated. Workshops, including mask making, offer learning opportunities in both acting and technical aspects.

“Personally I’m not too sure what each event entails, but I do know that for acting, singing, and dancing events we perform in front of a group of judges. If we do well, then we will be able to go to nationals in Nebraska,” Hurst said.

The state convention gives high school theatre companies a chance to show off their best work in front of seasoned judges with hopes of qualifying for the national competition. While this is Hurst’s first time attending the convention, she is already aware of the process and has been rehearsing accordingly. Hurst appears in an acting duet and a group dance and is eager to preform and showcase her hard work for the judges.

“We have been preparing a group dance for about a month with practices after school. I have loved meeting new people and just having fun with the theatre company,” Patwardan said.

Both Patwardan and Hurst have been working on a group dance to “Magic to Do” from Pippin The group dance was student choreographed and rehearsed almost every day after school for a month. They are very proud of the dance and hope that the judges recognize their hard work and allow them to qualify for Nationals.

“I am excited for both of the events I am in, because in my duet we are using American Sign Language, and the dance is a blast to preform,” Hurst said.

Hurst hopes her creative integration of another language into their performance will give her acting duet a leg up in the competition. Each category has many acts so every troupe must constantly be coming up with new, creative performances. The fast paced dance is a crowd pleaser and visually entertaining. Though there are only 12 people, there are always more complex things happening on stage during the performance.