- Fine & Performing Arts
- Upper School
"Act well your part, there all honor lies"
For the first time in more than a decade, AACS sent members of our International Thespian Society Troupe (#7256) to the Maryland Thespian Festival. This year's festival was held at the University of Maryland College Park, and nearly 1000 high school theatre students, teaching artists, and clinicians were in attendance.
Honors Dramatis, AACS's 10-member advanced acting ensemble class, competed in the one-act play competition at the festival with a production of Tracks by Peter Tarsi. At the festival, Dramatis was cited for Outstanding Hair and Makeup Design and Outstanding Ensemble. Additionally, sophomores Sam Boggs and Maya Crowley were recognized for outstanding performances.
Reflecting on the experience and what ideas she would bring back to AACS, Gabby Gill shared, “I learned is that there is only one of me and I am the only person who can do the things that I can do, in the ways that I can do them. I am bringing this back to AACS because God has called us all for something different, and we should be proud to walk in our gifts for the glory of God.”
In the One-Act Festival, participating troupes received live feedback from professional judges as well as recognition for their participation. Elizabeth Whitney shared what she took from the feedback, “I learned about myself that I tend to rush comedic moments and that sometimes in acting and improv, I just need to slow down and enjoy being in the moment with the audience.”
Taylor Evans said she was surprised by the one-act performances, “I wasn't expecting to enjoy them as much as I did.” While she looked forward to the time to bond with her classmates, she also learned how much she genuinely loves theatre and the community, “It reminded me that I was in the right place.” She continued, the theatre community is a place where people can feel accepted and loved, and she hopes that can be replicated at AACS. “Aiming for this will make AACS a safe space for every person to be themselves without the fear of judgment.”
Nick Cherone and Sarah Bierc coordinated and chaperoned this unique opportunity for AACS students to learn, create, and spend time with fellow students from public and private schools across Maryland. Hannah Gilmore noted that she expected people there to be different from what she is used to, coming from a Christian environment. Hannah shared, “It still hit me as a bit of a shock seeing all of them and talking to them. It was way different in a good and weird way. Everyone we met was super supportive and friendly.” She shared that while it was interesting to see so many fellow students with a variety of haircuts, hair colors, piercings, ways of talking and dressing, “The thing I was most surprised about wasn't those surface differences. I was more surprised by the similarities between us. They reminded me of people I knew.”
Griffin Pilcher was unsure what to expect, and enjoyed experiencing theatre beyond the traditional. “At the festival I saw a variety of shows that portrayed different themes and different ways of putting on a "play." I thought it was very insightful to the world of theatre to see plays ranging from traditional shows to plays based around a series of monologues. It was really fun to see the different sides.”
Students also had the opportunity to work with some of the best artists in the field in skill-building workshops. From Broadway Bootcamp to Stage Combat, Vocal Masterclass to Paper Mache Mask Making, students could expand their knowledge and repertoire. Julianne Cowart shared her experience, “I didn’t really know what to expect from festival, but I enjoyed getting to see other schools perform and display theater in ways that I hadn’t seen before. I was able to learn from other students my age, act alongside them, and try new theater activities.”
(Headline from Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man)