Thespian Festival 2020

A cloud of opaque white chemicals filled a school bus full of theatre members as they made their way to the State Thespian Festival. It turns out no part of the bus had exploded, somebody’s backpack was just leaning against a fire extinguisher that had lost its pin.

“We had to evacuate on the side of the highway, and then finally once everyone was cleared off because we thought the heater blew up,” junior Audrey Behar said. “But once we figured out that it was a fire extinguisher we went to a gas station and had to clean it up for an hour and then had to go back to Jonesboro, it was very fun.”

The  fire extinguisher fiasco wasn’t the only incident over the three day festival that caused distress for some of the theatre members.

“The judges sucked. The judges sucked so much. Out of like 30 schools they only gave two group acting superiors which has never happened before. It’s so stupid,” senior Drew Casey said. 

While no superior status was gained from group acting due to the judges only giving out two instead of the normal eight or more, the Tech Cats did place superior in every competition they were a part of.

“Threading is basically, you have to thread a sewing machine, so it’s thread and bobbin. You have to do it as fast as you can. I actually won a medal for it. It’s really intense, the funnest event out there,” Behar said. “At festival I got 30 seconds, but my fastest is actually 16 seconds. Our light guy Brian got 25 seconds in light hang and focus, and we got 30 something seconds in propshift.”

Onsite competitions were not the only thing to do while at the festival; there were a variety of workshops students could attend or you could even just sit and watch other schools and individuals perform all day.

“My favorite workshops were actually the dance workshops, me and the other freshman Briggs have come back and for the last few days have been teaching the dances to our class. They also had a bunch of fun improv classes,” freshman Tommie Carnahan said. 

When the three days of the festival came to an end, there were hardly any dry eyes in sight as many of the Troupe 7262 members said goodbye to the festival for the last time.

“Everyone cried on the last day. We’re very sentimental in tech and theatre, everyone cried their eyes out. I didn’t see one person not cry. It’s like tradition to cry,” Behar said.

There actually was one person who created a tradition of their own, to not cry no matter what at the end of festival.

“I did not cry, I still retain my three year record of not crying during the closing ceremonies at festivals, which most people have lost,” Casey said. “I’m just not a crying person, I don’t cry that much.” 

Even though Casey is the president of Troupe 7262 he is excited to go out into the real world, to be out of public education and experience things he’s never done before. The state thespian festival gave him that feeling of freedom for three years but overall, he’s ready to leave.    

“It’s been fun, but I am getting the hell out of here,” Casey said.