SHS Summer Vacation: ITS Nationals

August 8, 2017

SHS Junior Megan G. attended the International Thespian Society National Competition in Lincoln, Nebraska and was awarded a superior rating on her sound-design in The Hound of the Baskervilles (fall 2016). Megan will serve as a SHS Drama ITS Officer this year.

 

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello! I’m Megan and I’m a junior at Sehome. I’ve been involved with drama since the beginning of my freshman year, specifically tech. I have designed the sound for several shows as well as stage managed and run lights.

 

What was the event that you attended and where was it?

I went to Lincoln, Nebraska for the International Thespian Festival. Every year in January, students have the opportunity to go down to Seattle and present the work they’ve been doing in acting, singing, and technical theater to a panel of judges in a regional competition. I presented my sound design for last year’s fall play, The Hound of the Baskervilles and scored high enough to qualify to take my design and compete nationally. I put together a portfolio including diagrams of the theatre, my script, and pictures of my sound booth, played some of the sound cues that I built, and talked through my design process during my presentation. I stayed at the University of Nebraska Lincoln for a week and attended workshops, saw other high school’s plays from around the country, and gave my presentation, earning a ‘superior’ score.

 

What was the most powerful or inspirational moment from this event?

There is an event at Nationals called the dream team, in which you can apply to do tech for a play produced at the festival. I was selected to design sound for a commissioned play called Sisters on the Ground. Actors show up and audition for parts, then participate in a staged reading of the play, complete with lights, sound, props, etc. at the end of the week. We had rehearsals every day for the show, and it was just really cool after the performance how people from all over the country who didn’t previously know each other had come together to create such an amazing show in just a few days.

 

What will you bring back to SHS Drama now that you’ve done this event?

If there’s anything I took away from this event, it’s how glad I am that I do drama at Sehome where everyone is so incredibly welcoming and kind. I won’t lie, there were some pretentious people at nationals and we just aren’t that competitive here. It’s nice to be able to be friends with everyone in our drama program.

 

Sehome can also do so much with so little. Other schools were working with very high budgets and nearly unlimited materials, unlike Sehome. Our environment allows us to be so much more creative in the way we go about building our shows.

Finally, I went to several tech workshops about lighting, electrical, and stage management, which will hopefully be helpful during tech days for our shows.

 

Why do you think it is important to study theater?

I think it is important to study theatre to gain understanding of the world and the people around us. Plays give us the opportunity to see other people’s points of view or learn about something that happened long before we even existed. I also believe that telling stories through theatre is a key way to keep our history and culture alive. Thinking about all the elements that go into a show, there are so many different perspectives on the same issue. Each actor and designer has a unique perspective on the story because each person involved is conveying it in a different way.

 

 

 

Megan with SHS Drama student Emma (who also competed at Nationals) and drama teacher Kandace Arens at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

 

 

 

 

 

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