international thespian festival

Alexia Reside, Natalie Turner, Hannah Main, Ashton Slaughter, J.J. Willis and Madelyn Baty (in no order) all participated in the International Thespian Festival, held in Lincoln, Nebraska, Monday-Saturday, June 24-29. Courtesy photo

Six Owasso students are taking every opportunity to tap into their talents.

Alexia Reside, Natalie Turner, Hannah Main, Ashton Slaughter, J.J. Willis and Madelyn Baty all participated in the International Thespian Festival, held in Lincoln, Nebraska, Monday-Saturday, June 24-29.

The International Thespian Festival, or ITF, produced by the Educational Theatre Association, is a week-long theatre arts event offered to high-achieving middle and high school drama students and their teachers.

ITF, in place for over 50 years, serves to broaden students’ horizons, enrich their learning and celebrate their creativity through a variety of immersive workshops and productions.

“We went with the expectation to grow as a department, as actors, and as stage technicians,” said Ryan King, OHS theatre director, on Owasso High School Theatre Department’s Facebook page. “We did that…AND MORE!”

Reside and Turner, both international qualifiers, took home Superior rankings in the Musical Theatre Solo competition, the highest achievable level at the annual conference.

Main auditioned for colleges and starred in “Dreamland,” an original work by Chris Miller and Nathan Tyson. She also played the part of Puck in the adapted musical version of Shakespeare’s “Midsummer.”

Additionally, both Slaughter and Willis attended leadership workshops in preparation for the upcoming theatre year, and Baty, the department’s technician at festival this year, also took part in technical and acting classes.

“We have a really motivated group of kids,” King told the Owasso Reporter. “We work a lot; it doesn’t happen overnight. This has been a pretty good process, had a grassroots efforts on what we’ve accomplished. They have nothing but awesome things ahead of them.”

For more information about the International Thespian Festival, visit schooltheatre.org/itf2019/home.

Art is a seasoned reporter of over 15 years with an extended background in writing and editing for a variety of publications and organizations.