Wilsonville Theatre tackles state!


Photo by Jason Katz

Members of Wilsonville's thespian troupe pose at the end of the state festival. The team is already preparing for next year.

After a busy busy weekend, Wilsonville theatre students return from Oregon’s State Thespian Competition. The competition took place at the Salem Convention Center over April 4th through 6th, and students stayed overnight in Salem.

Wilsonville brought four musical scenes, one acting scene, and two technical theatre pieces, making seven total entries for this year’s competition. Wilsonville takes competition very seriously, and it really shows. Students came to the competition dressed very professional and acted with an added degree of professionalism.

Competition is only one part of State, there is so much more to do on this weekend long trip! On each of the two nights, Rex Putnam and Sam Barlow performed different musicals on stage at the Elsinore Theatre. Rex Putnam preformed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Sam Barlow preformed Mamma Mia. On the morning of Friday the fifth, Lincoln High School performed the play She Kills Monsters, which Wilsonville will also be performing in their auditorium this May.

Along with going to shows at night, students had the opportunity to attend workshops put on by specialists in different theatrical crafts. There were professionals who taught students anything ranging from how to use sound design equipment, to how to rap Shakespeare. Students got to go to four of theses workshops of choice. During the workshop times though, participants could also go and watch one act plays which were directed by different students from across the state of Oregon. Wilsonville brought two different one act plays to competition this year, one of which was written by senior Abi Edwards.

    After each show, a large convention wide dance was held at the convention center. The theme of this years State competition was Empowerment, so for the first dance, students could dress up as people who empowered them. For the second dance, students dressed up as their favorite hero, whether that be a superhero or another empowering person.

At State, many students get to meet many other Thespian from different schools, and bond over a love of theatre.

My favorite part of State has easily been getting to meet other thespians from different troupes. State is a really good way to meet other people that you would never have met otherwise, and to share the same love of a craft.”

— Katie Walter

Another way to meet other students is with rubber ducks. There were rubber ducks that were sold that had different musical or movie character names written on the bottom, and the goal was to purchase a duck and find someone else who had your partner. An example would be finding the Flynn Rider to your Rapunzel. All the money raised from the Ducks went to help Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.

The State Conference ended with a large closing ceremony, where all the students who placed at the competition got to perform their scenes in front of everyone at the Elsinore Theatre. This was also when Technical entry winners were announced.

Both the two technical entries that Wilsonville brought to competition received an award, the first time any students from Wilsonville have received awards in these categories. Wilsonville’s Stage Manager, senior Mackenzie Bodyfelt, submitted her work on Legally Blonde: The Musical, and received a State Specialist award, making her among the top 10% for Stage Managers in the entire state of Oregon!

The State Thespian Conference is a highly anticipated part of the theatre season, from the competition, to learning how to improve your art, students took a lot of memories away from the trip.