Hockinson High School’s Drama Club has been making waves in the theater space after their stellar performance at the Southwest Washington Regional Thespys in January. Most recently, the group wrapped up performances at the Washington State Thespian Conference hosted by Western Washington University on March 17-18. Twenty-one Hockinson High School students attended the festival, and three advance to the International Thespian Festival this June.
“We’re hoping to bring home a couple of awards, but more importantly, memories of a rich weekend celebrating the theater arts,” Hockinson drama director Greg Saum said when asked about the group’s goal in attending the conference.
Hockinson High School’s drama department applied for and was awarded an Honor Troupe Trophy at the conference. “The trophy is meant to recognize all of the hard work these students do throughout the whole year,” Saum said. “Our audiences see only the end result of their work on stage; but when they are not performing, they are doing so much more to keep their theater program relevant and thriving.”
Abby Hansen, Jonah Charles, and Alex Gutridge scored Superior on their respective performances and are eligible to advance to the International Thespian Festival held in June. Additionally, these three students qualify to audition for the Thespy Showcase at the state and international competition.
Troupe members also participated in technical and creative theater workshops along with 1,400 other Washington high school students. Workshop topics ranged from sound engineering equipment best practices to safe physical comedy and overcoming writer’s block.
During his 14 years teaching high school theater, Saum observed exposure to theater programs helps students forge their sense of self, develop empathy, and broaden the ways they find meaning within their surroundings. He notes that the skills and social awareness students learn as a result allows them to become “fully participatory citizens.”
Next, Hockinson High School’s theater group will present Beauty and the Beast on May 11, 12, 18, 19 and 20 at 7pm plus a matinee on May 20 at 1pm. Students are building sets, costumes, furniture, props of all sizes, and assembling posters and performance programs. Two Hockinson students from FIRST Robotics Team Mean Machine are assisting in the show’s technical elements, and 20 band students will also be performing in the pit. The cast also includes one Hockinson Heights Elementary school student playing the role of Chip. This is HHS Drama’s largest performance of the year. All performances will be at Hockinson High School. Hockinson High School’s Drama Club is supported by the Hockinson School Levy. Thank you to generous community supporters!
Photographed below are Hockinson's International Thespian Festival qualifiers. See Jonah Charles, Abby Hansen, and Alex Gutridge from left to right.