At Saint Andrew’s School, Scots see art as a tool for self-expression and always enjoy the chance to showcase their talents in front of an enthusiastic audience.
On Saturday, December 1, Thespian troupe director Ms. Nicole Perry was proud to send nine Upper School students to the District X Thespians Festival where Thespian Honor Society members showed their impressive expertise on the stage and earned top rankings.
The ability to attend the Thespian Festival is a great honor - one that is only afforded to members of a distinguished group - the Thespian Honor Society.
Thespian Honor Society member Lindsay Russel ‘19, Kitty Louie ‘19, and Samantha Tholke ‘21 enjoyed their first Thespian Festival this year, joined by seasoned members Bria Weisz ‘19, Colin Finney ‘19, Noelle Norona ‘19, Hayden Sikora ‘20, Csenge Darnyi ‘21, and Jenny Hemmert ‘21.
“I am proud to have invited and accepted recommendations for several Upper School students to join the Thespian Honor Society in the last two years which has led to a great showing at this year’s festival,” said Nicole Perry. “Each member student has shown significant commitment to the theatre arts at Saint Andrew's.”
Supported by Lisa Moss in piano accompaniment, and Dr. Amanda Albert as a chaperone, talented Scots earned “Superior” and “Excellent” ratings in both individual and group events, and some qualified for the state festival.
Bria Weisz for Playwriting and Monologues
Csenge Darnyi, Lindsay Russell, and Samantha Tholke for Monologues
Jenny Hemmert for Costume Construction
Hayden Sikora for Solo Musical Theater
Csenge Darnyi for Pantomime
Colin Finney and Kitty Louie for Monologues
Colin Finney and Hayden Sikora for Duet Musical Theatre
Noelle Norona and Bria Weisz for Solo Musical Theatre
Samantha Tholke came home to SA with some profound takeaways about the festival experience. “When I was rehearsing with Ms. Perry, I thought that the festival was a competition,” she said. “But it isn’t a competition as much as it is an opportunity for talented students to come together and be assessed on their theatrical talents,” said Samantha. “Its purpose is to give performers a gauge so as to make us better,” she added.
Samantha showed honor throughout the festival to her peers both at SA and from other schools.“I found myself being really supportive of students from other schools and being happy for them when they achieved high marks. I felt genuine admiration when others did well.”
In addition to the ability to attend the festival, Honor Society members have other opportunities to show their skills and make connections in the community. “There’s a lot of philanthropic projects that are offered through thespians. For example, we could perform one-acts about current events to help raise awareness for important issues,” said Colin Finney. “Last year, there was an event we were involved in to promote awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association,” she added.
Dedication to the theater arts is what these Scots have and so much more. Bria Weisz, Csenge Darnyi, Lindsay Russell, Samantha Tholke, Jenny Hemmert, and Hayden Sikora’s superior rankings helped qualify them for competition in the state festival in the spring.
With a bow and a curtain call, SA throws roses to these supremely talented thespians as they hone their theater skills for later competition, ranking, and performances. Bravo!