Annual Thespian Conference

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Annual Thespian Conference

Marta Johnston, Writer

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An annual festival is held in Kansas, appealing to the art of acting and theatre. For three days, high school students are exposed to the art in a wide variety of different forms. This event is also a wonderful opportunity for aspiring college students to explore the programs of colleges in their desired fields of interest, as the colleges that choose to display their courses are mostly theatre oriented.

Under the Educational Theatre Association, the event is held in order to honor student achievement and support the educators involved. The goal of the association is to educate and inspire young students, and to use the resource of qualified instructors to enrich their abilities in the thespian genre.

This year, the festival was held Jan. 3-5. Students participated in a great number of workshops by visiting teachers and professors. There were nearly 200 workshop sessions available. A few of the schools brought a piece to perform at the conference, on the stage of the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center in Wichita. Washburn Rural also brought along a performance of their own.

Along with the large school performance, students were able to bring pieces of their own. Students were judged on account of their playwriting, tech, film, and individual acting skills. Fun challenges are also held including improv, charades, and trivia activities.

On average, 1500 students and 80 teachers attend this yearly event. The number of those in attendance causes for a great source of bringing together those of similar interests. Students are able to explore future options in regard to colleges and careers. The event is also a way to expose students to the world of theatre in new and potentially exciting ways.

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