16 National qualifiers for theatre students at festival


Courtesy of Matthew Peters

TWHS Thespian troupe 1053 at the TTSF convention in Grapevine, Texas.

Rebecca Lively, Writer

Texas Thespian State Festival is a four-day convention that takes place in Grapevine and San Antonio in November each year. The Woodlands High School has been attending the festival in Grapevine for over 20 years and continued the tradition this year. 

Theatre students competed in a variety of events ranging from musical duets to theatrical marketing. Many were nervous about how they would live up to the directors’ expectations after their spectacular performance of The Play That Goes Wrong on the mainstage last year, according to Emmie Avila.

But as always, the participants shone with 16 national qualifiers, one mainstage performance, one superior prop design, 1st place in set design, 2nd place in mask design, and one mainstage technical individual event.

In addition to competing, they also got to attend workshops led by professional choreographers, designers, and performers. 

“I loved going to the Newsies workshop and getting to dance with my old cast members from last year again,” junior Shea McLeod said.

Other popular workshops included a makeup workshop where people learned how to make fake blood and learning to sketch fashion designs with Mariah Carey’s stylist.

Senior Matthew Molito, returned to TTSF after nationally qualifying with a perfect score in Theatrical Marketing last year. 

“I prepared for TTSF by making sure I had all the materials I needed,” Molito said. “I’m gonna be honest, I literally had no physical work to show the judges and two hours before entering the judges room, I started gluing my work.” 

Despite arriving to his competition at the last possible second, Molito once again achieved a perfect score and nationally qualified.

In addition to creating a physical representation, Molito had to “present the budget, production value, profits, and publicity efforts made for the show.”

Molito believes, “the amount of research and innovation [he] presented to the judges regarding our fall show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is what made him stand out from others.