Liberty Ledger

Liberty’s Thespians Attend ThesCon

Group learns to improve their theatre education and grow closer as a family

Liberty+Thespians+go+out+to+eat+after+getting+checked+into+ThesCon+in+downtown+St.+Louis.%0AFront%3A+Alyssa+Fay%2C+Abby+Falgout%2C+Devin+Eckardt.%0ABack%3A+Annette+Oliphant%2C+Alisha+Grant%2C+Ally+Linck%2C+Emily+Stabile%2C+Ben+Gagliano.%0A
Liberty Thespians go out to eat after getting checked into ThesCon in downtown St. Louis.
Front: Alyssa Fay, Abby Falgout, Devin Eckardt.
Back: Annette Oliphant, Alisha Grant, Ally Linck, Emily Stabile, Ben Gagliano.

Liberty Thespians go out to eat after getting checked into ThesCon in downtown St. Louis. Front: Alyssa Fay, Abby Falgout, Devin Eckardt. Back: Annette Oliphant, Alisha Grant, Ally Linck, Emily Stabile, Ben Gagliano.

Ms. Willis

Ms. Willis

Liberty Thespians go out to eat after getting checked into ThesCon in downtown St. Louis. Front: Alyssa Fay, Abby Falgout, Devin Eckardt. Back: Annette Oliphant, Alisha Grant, Ally Linck, Emily Stabile, Ben Gagliano.

Braden McMakin, Reporter

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Each year Missouri holds a thespian conference that invites high schools from all over the state to come together and connect for the next three days. Conferences are held in Kansas City or St. Louis with actors, techies and directors coming from each corner of Missouri to meet.

Thespians who share the same love and passion for theatre can attend workshops from a huge list of options all focused on different aspects, talents and interests that all revolve around the drama community.

Braden McMakin
Ellie McCrary, Juhaina Aarda and Sara Merz in session for the rest and relaxation workshop.

This year the conference was held at the Marriott in downtown St. Louis, where a group of your very own Liberty students engaged in various classes to better their theatre education and grow closer together as a theatre family.

“You meet a ton of new, eccentric people that all share the same passions as you do,” junior Paxton Linnemeyer said. “You also learn so much each year and meet a lot of experienced professionals that give you amazing advice.”

The conference took place on Jan. 10-13.

Opportunities to watch other schools perform are very common, each night all of the Thespians gathered in the theatre to watch a performance put on by students their age.

Special workshops such as broadsword fighting are hands-on activities that can be entertaining as well as educational.

“The lesson offered a variety of different swords to use, mainly large, tempered steel swords used by knights. It was very structured and very disciplined to make sure we were safe because even though the swords were dulled,  they were still dangerous,” junior Devin Eckardt said. “The instructor paid a lot of individual attention to students and taught us basics so that we would be able to put together a unique fight of our own with a lot of practice down the road.”

Braden McMakin
Artist Warren Holz teaches how to properly apply and take off stage makeup.

Teachers and trainers are in charge of their own workshops designed for students willing to learn more about that topic whether it be stage makeup, building sets, improv, directing, acting, and learning to work together with other people to piece together a great production on and off-stage.

“My favorite part overall was spending time in a place where I felt so completely at ease and surrounded by people that I fit in with,” Sara Merz said. “I really enjoyed the relaxation class because it felt like a lot of barriers were broken down. Plus, as someone who struggles with anxiety, I learned a lot of new helpful techniques to help relieve that.”

Mrs. Willis
Julia Wolz won the Lana Hagen Theatre Educator Scholarship.

ThesCon offers many opportunities to benefit your future. Colleges from all over the state set up stands to talk with students and give them some insight about their programs, education and environment. Scholarships and awards are given out to a few lucky people during the conference who apply and attend interviews in order to get a chance at winning the scholarship. This year, senior Julia Wolz won the Lana Hagen Theatre Educator Scholarship.

It is offered to any high school senior who is an inducted thespian in the international thespian society.

“Back in November I had to fill out an application and write a 500 word essay about why I wanted to be a theatre educator and what inspires me,” Wolz said.

“After this I was invited to be interviewed at the conference. I had to prepare a  portfolio full of different kinds of lesson plans and worksheet/sample test reviews. I also made a PowerPoint about my participation in theatre at Liberty. My interview was 25 minutes where they asked me a series of questions about everything to do with education and theatre. When we were sitting in the auditorium at the conference waiting for the names to get called I just didn’t think I would win. I was freaking out and waiting. Finally, when it was time I couldn’t breathe. They called my name and I was so shocked! I smiled so big and actually threw my phone out of my hands. The feeling of overwhelming joy rushed into me. My whole troupe cheering made me the happiest girl in the world. It was a moment I’ll never forget. All of my hard work finally paying off.”

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