Jr. Thespians Troupe 88994 shines at district competition

Congratulations to Jr. Thespian Troupe 88994 (that's us!) who returned Sunday from the District 2 Thespian Festival in Sanford, FL. We had to attend a different district this year because our regular district festival was scheduled on the same day as the Halloween tunnel and boy, those Orlando-area middle schools have big troupes!

Despite our diminutive size, Magnolia Thespians performed well and qualified a record number of individual events for the state festival in February. The ensemble scene "A Rare Condition" (Genevieve, Jaron, Robert, Trevor, Kevin, and Jason), Genevieve's scene design for the musical Honk!, Jason's musical theater solo ("Sante Fe") and Sancia's monologue ("The Interview") all received Superior ratings.

Naylen's monologue ("And They Danced Real Slow in Jackson"), Trevor's solo ("Betrayed"), the ensemble scene "Afternoon of the Elves (Elaina, Emily, and Emma) and the small group musical (Trevor, Sancia, Naylen, Jason, Elaina, Emily, and Genevieve) all received Excellent ratings.

While Salvador Dali at the Beach was not chosen to represent the district at state festival this year, we did receive an excellent rating, and the judges were very complimentary, noting the naturalistic acting of Trevor and Naylen ("very believable"), the well-executed simultaneous talking by Emma and Genevieve, the sustained energy of Sancia's Beauty Queen monologue, the great ensemble work of the cast during the Sugar Plum fairy sequence, and the interesting and funny character choices made by each of the actors. They were "amazed and impressed that middle schoolers would take on an absurdist piece," which carried on our tradition of being recognized for performing challenging material with literary merit.

Special thanks are due once again to our extraordinary and indefatigable chaperones Sue Ray and Ben Jacobs, who kept everyone safe and supported; to our co-sponsor Sunshine, who manages to solve problems before they even occur; to Sharon, who made sure we had an organized departure and did not leave the props behind; and to our wonderful supporters Lerena Fleck and Jodi Wilkof, who made sure that we, too, had matching shirts when we marched into the festival. We looked—and felt—entirely legit in our wonderful hoodies. Thanks to the parents, too, for entrusting us with your children. They were delightful to travel with and very supportive of each other.