Carver High School and Eisenhower HS students delivered outstanding performances at the Texas State Thespian Festival held Nov. 15-17 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, TX.
Each year, Texas Thespians hosts a statewide festival, which includes more than 8,000 delegates. It is one of the largest annual thespian festivals where students and their troupe directors celebrate an entire weekend of theater.
The festival gives students opportunities to perform and earn recognition. Activities include:
The sessions and workshops help the young thespians develop their acting and technical theater skills.
In the competition portion, Carver and Ike students shined. More than 40 earned Superior ratings and will advance to national competition at the International Thespian Festival held each June in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Duet Acting — Folasade Asoro & Brielle Johnson
Duet Musical — Jocelyn Dorsey & Kaleb Womack
Group Acting — Joshua Cruise, Yasaar Ellis, & Trysten Williams
Group Musical — Sissi Arriaga, Armani Brown, Cody Dixon, Colby Ester, Óscar García, Ashley Harrison, Miriam Hernández, Prejazaclyn James, Jordan Johnson, Jaila Stanley, Óscar Villagran, Ashlee Walker, Kevin Washington & Kai Womack
Monologue — Narius Nedd
Sound Design – Zavion Milburn
Solo Musical — Jazmyne Charles
Costume Design — Erika Escobedo
Duet Acting — Javion Cox & Jardon Brown
Group Acting — Maylasia Brue, Gavin Griggs, Clarence Moore, Diego Segura, Kayla Williams & Gabriel Zermeno
Group Acting — Samantha Doclan, Brycen Jones, Dylan Martínez, Courtney Neal, Danielle Powell, Carra Randel, Francisco Segura & Malik Washington
Solo Musical — Ashlynn McCutcheon
Costume Design — Ericah Rhodes
Scenic Design — Imani Titus & Madison Jones
Stage Management — Alexis Stewart
Theater Marketing — Alyssa Vincent & Bailey Mitchell
Short Film — Ángel Rivas
Solo Musical — Emma Velásquez
Stage Management — Lauren Smith
Stage Management — Jasmin García
National Individual Events (NIEs) is an educational program that offers thespians the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on prepared theatrical material and technical designs. The performance Individual Events include: monologue, duet acting, group acting, solo musical theatre, duet musical theatre, and group musical theatre. Students must qualify with an overall Superior at their chapter events and must be an inducted Thespian by the time of registration in order to be eligible to present an IE in Lincoln. The National Individual Events program culminates in a showcase of outstanding entries. Up to 12-selected performance participants will present their pieces on the Festival main stage in June.
Carver’s Group Musical and Solo Musical performances were chosen as a main stage IE finalists after receiving perfect scores from the judges. Ike’s Duet Acting team was also a Main Stage finalist.
This year’s keynote speaker was Annaleigh Ashford. Ashford is an American actress, singer, and dancer. She is known for her work on Broadway as Glinda in Wicked, and Margot in Legally Blonde—The Musical, as well as for originating the role of Lauren in Kinky Boots, a performance for which she received a 2013 Tony nomination. She won the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for her portrayal of Essie in You Can’t Take It With You on Broadway.
Carver’s Armani Brown, Jazmyne Charles, Jordan Johnson and Kaleb Womack performed in the in the all-state closing ceremony performance with Ashford. Additionally, Jazmyne received a scholarship from Texas Thespians, while Jordan received a scholarship — based on her All-State performance — for an AXS experience next summer.
Additionally, the Duet Musical scene from Carver was selected as a Main Stage performance. Thespians Jocelyn and Kaleb performed “Seventeen” from Heathers in front of the entire festival delegation.
Carver HS seniors Jazmyne Charles and Kai Womack auditioned for colleges. They received a combined total of 21 callbacks from the following universities: The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (NYC), Lindenwood, Louisiana State, Molloy College, Neighborhood Playhouse, Oklahoma Central University, Sam Houston, Stephens University, Studio School, Texas Tech, University of Incarnate Word, University of Utah, University of Wyoming, University of Texas-El Paso and York School.
Texas Thespians also gives students an opportunity to take on leadership roles. Carver student Yasaar Ellis was re-elected a State Thespian Officer to the Student State Board. This is the student governing board for Texas Thespians.
Roshunda Jones is the theater director at the Magnet school, while and Jabari Collins is the technical director.
Eisenhower HS Head Theater Director: Crystal Rose is the head theater director at Eisenhower HS, while Kristin Wilson is the assistant theater director at Ike HS and the theater director at Eisenhower Ninth Grade School.
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