Thespian Festival

Performing Arts Director Dr. Will Eyerly chartered Troupe #11474 at St. Andrew's-Sewanee, and for the first time in its long history, SAS is now a member of the International Thespian Society. Established in 1927, the International Thespian Society (ITS) is the flagship program of the Educational Theatre Association. ITS honors scholarship in core classes with special emphasis on achievement in middle and high school theatre. In the Thespy's Award program, theatre students compete in nearly every state in the US and around the world, performing at the district, regional, and state level in both theatrical performance and technical events for a chance to advance to the International Thespian Festival at Indiana University in Bloomington. 

This year, SAS was one of 7 schools selected to perform a one act in Thescon at MTSU. However, since Tennessee does not yet have a Thespy's qualifier, students must submit to an alternate qualification and adjudication by uploading performances and technical presentations into the ITS portal. The submitted videos are adjudicated by a panel of three theatre professionals. Each performance or presentation is scored on a rubric as either poor, fair, good, excellent, or superior. Superiors are qualified to move on to the International Thespian Festival Thespys competition.

This year, two SAS students made the commitment to go through the grueling alternate qualifier. Amelia Pond chose to design and construct Belle's iconic "Blue Dress" from the opening of Disney's Beauty and the Beast musical. Her technical presentation in the "Costume Construction" was praised by the judges for its attention to detail, including hand embroidery, as well as functionality for actor comfort and quick changes. She was honored with a top score of SUPERIOR for her efforts. 

Eliza Griffey chose the highly competitive "Solo Musical Theatre" performance category and sang a challenging piece from the musical Light in the Piazza entitled "The Beauty Is." The judges noted her focus and commitment to the blocking of the scene as well as the maturity and control of her voice. Eliza's performance also earned a top score of SUPERIOR from all three judges.

Both Amelia and Eliza are now qualified to move on to International competition at the International Thespian Festival at Indiana University in Bloomington June 23-28th. Congratulations, girls!