54th Annual Thespian Conference
December 6th-8th, 4,000 theater students from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico gather at the Denver Convention Center for the annual Thespian Conference where students are able to perform, audition, and learn. Led by Mr. Hasbrouck, George Washington took 40 students to participate in this learning weekend.
At ThesCon, students are able to perform Individual Events in front of judges and their peers, this way they are able to get feedback and practice. The students who performed IE’s from GW came back with 8 superiors (the highest score one could receive) and 5 excellent scores (the second best score). The students who scored a superior quality get to go to Nationals and perform their IE’s in Nebraska at the annual Thespian Festival in June. The GW Theater department could not be prouder for having 8 students/groups qualify for Nationals! Mr. Hasbrouck who brought the students and led them to Thescon is especially proud. Mr. Hasbrouck commented on how proud he was of all his students for receiving the highest scores and he cannot wait to see how they score at Nationals.
On top of IE’s, students are able to do college and scholarship auditions. Students perform in front of around 50 colleges and universities, these schools are able to callback students they would like to attend their school and here they can offer acceptances or scholarships. Students are also able to get the Colorado State Thespians scholarship which is awarded to one acting student, one technical theater, and one musical theater. The Patriot Players had two seniors audition for colleges, Naomi Vangulick, and Luke Mckenzie. Naomi Vangulick enjoyed the audition process and got 15 callbacks for her acting audition, she commented, “I am very excited for the schools I got call backed for, including DU and Hastings, in Nebraska, which is strange. I’m not sure what I want to do but this did help open up some options financially. I am very glad I did the auditions, at first I was very stressed out about it but I am happy I did well at the auditions.”
During the day students are able to take workshops or watch the different IE’s. There are a variety of workshops about a range of topics, like dances, making props, or the different tech workshops. All these classes are taught by professionals who travel to teach other conferences about their different skills and abilities. Students take a lunch and dinner break and they are able to explore downtown Denver. Many of the students who attend Thescon, typically only come to Denver for this event purely because of how far they live. So during the week of Thescon, downtown is crowded with theater students all trying to find some food or explore the city. After dinner each night, the students watch the main stage shows. This year’s shows were Newsies from Frederick High School and Sister Act from Regis Jesuit. These students submitted their shows to be adjudicated and they were chosen by the Colorado State Thespians. Students loved both the shows, especially Sister Act which has a comedic story still prominent in today’s time. “That was one of the best shows I have ever seen, sometimes I forgot it was a high school production. I am so glad that state Thespians are showing shows that are important in today’s times and it references to pop culture.” Nevaeh Hall talked about Sister Act.
Overall, Thescon is an amazing time and the theater students always look forward to this event every year. It is only just a couple of days downtown but for these students, this is one of the highlights of their year. The seniors of the theater program were very sad that this was their last year, leaving the hotel and the convention center and experiencing their last Thescon was a sad experience, but nonetheless, everyone had a great time. Senior Vanessa Scanlan who has gone twice added, “Very sad about this being my last Thescon, I wish I went freshman and sophomore year but I am glad I at least went twice. This is all I look forward to, but now I am excited to leave high school and pursue college.”