By Ellie White
On March 24, dozens of McNicholas students left for Dublin, Ohio for the 2017 Ohio Thespian Conference. This annual trip was especially important because the students performed the fall show, Little Women.
“It [performing at the conference] was crazy. The audience is so much bigger and so much more energetic than it was at McNick, and it was amazing,” senior Kelsey Minnick said. Minnick is the leading actress of Little Women, playing the role of Jo March. All McNicholas students participate in either constructing the set or performing the show at the conference.
Another performance opportunity at the conference is the Individual Events, or IEs. If the students performing receive double superiors, then they perform at the IE Showcase. This year McNicholas performed in four categories: Group Musical, Group Dance, Solo Musical, and Solo Monologue. Senior Hunter Cole and junior Jillian Sennett received double superiors in the Solo Musical category and Solo Monologue category, respectively.
“It was very very fulfilling. We feel really good about the work we’ve done up to this point to accomplish this,” Cole said. Both Cole and Sennett strongly recommended participating in the Individual Events. “It is a great way to work on your material and work on yourself as an actor or an actress,” Cole said. Sennett added, “And you can learn from other people too, because you just seeing people doing the same sort of work that you are doing.”
The trip is led by the McNicholas Theater teacher and director, Teresa De Zarn. “The conference is incredibly important is so many ways… you learn new material, you find new monologues, new plays, you learn new techniques from all the workshops. I mean, it is an invaluable tool, even if you aren’t going into the theater field,” De Zarn said.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been here [the Thespian Conference] and everyone is so welcoming, and I felt so at home. I was never nervous to talk to anybody, because everyone is just so accepting… and there are so many things to do all the time,” freshman Allie Hart said. Hart strongly recommends going. “No matter who you are, there’s going to be somebody here who you will connect with,” she said.