Thespians go to state and qualify for nationals


Henry Kaus

Senior Xander Dean and junior Caitlyn Smith perform “The Stinky Cheese Man” at Tigard High. Both Dean and Smith attended the thespian state competition to perform and support the troupe.

By Liz Blodgett, Feature Editor

     From the opening lights to the final bow, the Tigard Thespian Troupe stick together through every play, achievement, and competition. This year, 15 members of the troupe had the opportunity to perform at the state competition. The competition, filled with performances, auditions, and learning experiences, lasted a total of two and a half days.

     Junior Caitlyn Smith was among the group of thespians at state. Smith has been in a total of five performances over her three years at Tigard, including “The Miracle Worker,” “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “The Comedy of Errors.”

     “Theatre gave me the opportunity to get lost in a character and immerse myself in the magic and beauty of the art form,” Smith said. “Nothing could have taught me what it means to be respectful and compassionate like The Miracle Worker could have.”

     Although the majority of thespians who attended state were competing, some were there to support the group and watch their own productions win awards. Senior Matt Edwards has been in the theatre program for four years.

     “The senior one act that I directed did compete and they did pretty well,” Edwards said. “They were a few points off from qualifying for nationals, but they’re really proud of all of the work that they did and really proud of everyone else that got to perform.”

     Schools from all over Oregon competed in state this year. With so many people in the crowd, hearing lots of praise can impact how a thespian performs and feels afterwards. Senior Xander Dean has been in the Tigard theatre program for four years. This year, he went to state to watch his own production that he directed and choreographed.

     “Hearing the praise from thespians all over the state for me has really highlighted the sense of community we all share,” Dean said.

     Even though competing at state was a thrill for many people, the competition isn’t the only thing that makes being a thespian enjoyable.

     “No matter how difficult and time-consuming theatre has been, I can’t help but look back and be grateful for all the fantastic people and opportunities that it has brought into my high school experience,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t be anywhere nearly as dedicated, observant, and hardworking if it weren’t for my Thespian Troupe.”

     Sydney Lehfeldt, Maddie Newberry, Rachel Jacobson, and Rose Yake all were recognized and performed at state. Their performances and all of their hard work allowed for them to be qualified for the National competition. Along with the individual achievements, the entire Tigard Thespians were recognized as an Honor Troupe. This recognition is only given to five of the best troupes in the state, based on the work at their school and in their community.