Erie High’s Thespian Troupe

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Erie High School’s Thespian Trope helps student’s get recognition for their time and effort put into acting

Jozlyn Jorgenson, Co-Editor In Chief

At Erie High there are many different clubs, sports, and activities that students can participate in. Whether a student is interested in mechanics, reading, writing, or acting. One of these groups is the Thespian Troupe.

 

For students who are interested in acting, there is a way for them to not only be more involved in the theater community, but also be able to get colleges interested in them. Much like the National Honors Society, the Thespian Troupe is an honor society, and it is a way for students to get involved in acting in a way that looks good on college applications. 

 

Scott Wright, the teacher leading the troupe, says that, “Our troupe is part of… a national organization. People have to earn X amount of points to qualify for being in the troupe.”

 

There are a number of ways students can earn these points, like being involved in or attending shows and taking theater classes. As students earn points, they can go up in a level system, and get to levels like ‘gold thespian’ or ‘silver thespian’.

 

Once a student has joined the troupe, it not only looks good on colleges, but they can get special access to a major thespian related event: ThesCon, or the Thespian Convention, that is held in Denver. It holds a variety of classes related to theater. Anyone can go to it, but only Troupe members can do an event that allows them to show off their skills to colleges

 

Being able to audition for colleges is especially helpful for students looking to get a higher education related to theater. Madelyn Brown, who has been a part of the Thespian Troupe since her sophomore year, says that, “I feel like it only really comes in handy your senior year. So then you can do college auditions for free rather than having to fly out to New York and [do] them for schools there.”

 

Brown is one of those students applying to schools with the goal of doing theater. But that was not always the case, “… a few years ago I wanted to be a lawyer. So it has changed. I realized that I just have more fun in theater than I do anywhere else.” It was thanks to the Thespian Troupe that she found out what she wanted to pursue, “I feel like it’s definitely helped me along the way, just to find out what I really enjoy doing… it’s made me a happier person overall.” 

 

Brown is not the only one to have a good opinion of the Troupe. Isabell Layer, who is also a member, says that, “It’s a lot of fun because… you can go to get-together… and go to the shows, and you just make a lot of friends through that.” Like Layer,  Brown also enjoys the community, “It’s like a family… we’re all there to support each other.” She says.

 

While community is a big part of theater, the number of students a part of the Thespian Troupe has been impacted heavily by the pandemic. But the Troupe is actively trying to increase their numbers. Brown says that, “I think right now we’re pretty low just because COVID has impacted our numbers really harshly… but I know Mr. Wright, Bell, and I, and Claire… [have] been kind of collaborating and trying to find a way to reach out… and get more true members.”

 

For any students hesitant about joining, Brown says, “Why not? I have had nothing but fun in the theater department, and I can’t think of any negative[s] or turn offs.” She also adds that while students may be concerned about the amount of time they would need to spend, “We only schedule you for as much time as you’re able to give us. So it’s never [that] you’re required to be there… we’re willing to work with your schedule.”