Spotlight Players enter the spotlight

Over the weekend, The Spotlight Players attended the Missouri State Thespian Conference, which took place at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis. The conference featured competitions and workshops that the group had the opportunity to take part in, according to theatre director Michelle Moll.

“It was just a bunch of different workshops, for technical and for acting, that were taught by Broadway people, film people, and other people from Kansas City and St. Louis,” Moll said. “I think every day we had the opportunity to go to at least six workshops a day.”

The group also saw three main stage plays from schools across the state. The biggest events of the weekend, however, were the competitions, in which The Spotlight Players fared considerably well. Competitions in which The Spotlight Players participated included the individual events of duet acting and solo musical, and the group emphasized tech challenge. The group placed first out of 22 teams in the tech challenge.

“The tech challenge is a group of events, kind of like Olympic events, where you have a certain objective to meet and it’s all about time and accuracy,” senior Chris Franklyn said. Franklyn was one of the five thespians who participated in the tech challenge. The other four were juniors Roger Lewis, Jessica Reid, Dohen Gallagher, and Zach Breckle. Franklyn stated that he and his five teammates were anxious throughout the conference, awaiting the results of the tech challenge.

“We knew we did a good job whenever we performed, so we were anxious the whole conference to get the results back,” Franklyn said. “Running up and grabbing a trophy for our school, in something not recognized [as much as] theatre, felt really awesome.”

In the individual events, junior Charlie Grant and senior Ben Patty received an excellence rating in duet acting, while senior Sean Gundersen received a superior rating for solo musical. Gundersen was also ranked one of four in music and top 10 overall in performance. Ms. Moll wasn’t surprised The Spotlight Players came home with top honors.

“I wasn’t really surprised by the tech challenge because a lot of our stuff is student led and a lot of schools in Missouri don’t do that,” Moll said. Moll made it clear that she wasn’t surprised by the individual awards as well.

With the conference in the rearview mirror, The Spotlight Players will now begin preparing for their spring musical, “Kiss Me Kate.” Auditions occurred Tuesday and Wednesday after school and rehearsals will begin next week. The theatre department also has other things in the works.

“The intensified theatre classes are going to perform during Diversity Week and might do a children’s show after the musical in April,” Moll said.