FSHS Thespians Benefit from International Thespian Festival

Top left to right: Dominic Cannon, Grant Coffman, Mackenzie Peoples, Kathelra Murray, Audra McFarland, Mark Bergmann. Middle: Levi Bin, Alyx Brooks, Mary Gladbach, Mesa Jones, Kaitlyn Hanks, Ivy Bailey, Angie Bin. Front: Carlee Studyvin, Addy Labbe, Katie Button, Lexi Bailey, Hunter Adamson, Karina Kantilal.


Nineteen Thespians from Fort Scott High School Troupe #7365 attended the International Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska June 25-July 1.


The students joined 4,500 others from around the world to experience a week of intensive theatre-related workshops and classes and attend top-notch student theatre performances. This year’s festival had over 700 workshops taught by Broadway professionals, university faculty and theatre educators and over 55 performances.


“Going to any sort of Thespian Festival, either state or international, I’ve connected with other people and shared the love of theatre with them. We’ve seen many beautifully done shows and enjoyed being there,” said senior Karina Kantilal.


Seniors Alyx Brooks and Hunter Adamson joined 650 other students in auditioning for college scholarships. Over sixty colleges gave out scholarships at the festival and both seniors were called back by numerous colleges.

Thespians dressed to attend an evening formal dance. L to R: Addy Labbe, Karina Kantilal, Hunter Adamson


In addition, Adamson, the FSHS Thespian President and a KS State Thespian Officer and FSHS Thespian Vice President and KS State Thespian Representative Mesa Jones, a junior, attended special leadership classes throughout the week.


“Getting to go to the leadership workshop helped open my eyes to ways of being a helping hand and all around better leader for my troupe. I met amazing young activists and feel as though I understand the positive influence theater is for young minds more. The trip was outstanding and I loved every second,”  Adamson said.


FSHS Thespian Director Angie Bin, FSHS English Teacher Mark Bergmann, and Thespian parent Amy Labbe were sponsors for the event.


“It is truly the most amazing experience. The incredible workshops are taught by successful industry professionals and are invaluable to students seeking careers in the biz. The shows are full of the most talented young people who are the future Broadway stars of our country. It was the best week of my year!” Labbe remarked.


Students worked throughout the school year to fundraise the $790 registration fee for the festival. Many were able to attend last year’s festival for free due to a Send a Troupe grant won by FSHS from the Educational Theatre Association and were determined to experience the festival again.


Junior Kaitlyn Hanks said, “I can’t wait to come back. International Thespian Festival is truly like a second home to me, it’s the happiest place on Earth for a bunch of Thespians, from the great people to the amazing teachers and extraordinary shows.”


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