Seaman students take on Kansas Thespian Festival

The International Thespian Society (ITS) is the Educational Theatre Association’s student honorary organization. ITS recognizes the achievements of high school and middle school theatre students. Since 1929, more than 2 million Thespians have been inducted into ITS. That number continues to grow, with more than 36,000 students from around the country being inducted each year.

Each year the ITS members work hard to become a Thespian. To qualify a  student must earn ten points, which is the equivalent of one hundred hours of work. Five of those points should be acquired at the school where he or she is to be inducted.

On January 9, 2020, thirteen Seaman ITS members traveled to the Kansas Thespian Festival at Pittsburg High School. There they competed, attended workshops, and watched other schools’ productions. They look forward to this opportunity each year.

Junior Hailey Morton said, “I enjoy going to the festival because I get to see what other schools are doing and how I can improve my skills. I think it is a great experience and I look forward to going again next year.”

Not only is Festival a time for students to get closer with fellow Seaman ITS members, but it is also a way to qualify for the International Festival, which will be held in Bloomington, Indiana this year on June 22-28. Five of the Seaman ITS members qualified for International competition including Eric Patterson Jr., Mia Weiler, Jade Essman, Gabby Van Sickle, and AJ Brooks. To qualify for International Festival Van Sickle and Brooks performed a duet and Essman performed her monologue.

Weiler competed with her partner Patterson and qualified for International Festival with a dramatic piece. Weiler and Patterson also were invited to Showcase, which is reserved for the top ten performances in the state. 

Weiler said, “I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I thank everyone on my troupe who pushed me to work as hard as I did.” 

The Improv team won 4th place in the state. The Troupe also won Gold Honor Troupe. This is the highest honor in the state for recognizing ITS accomplishments. 

ITS sponsor Mr. Michael Stauffer commented, “I am so proud of my students’ accomplishments at Festival and I look forward to seeing how they do at the International Festival. I know they will do great because they all are very hard-working.”