By: STO Lia Graham, Texas High School, Troupe 2526
First off, let’s address the elephant in the room (or screen if you must): this year is different, and in turn, our Texas Thespians State Festival will be different. As the world struggles to find something normal in a time of constant change, your State Thespian Officers, along with the adult board, have been working together to plan out a festival that will not only be the first virtual state festival held this year, but a part of history as well. The other Texas STOs and I are confident in saying that this will be the best Texas Thespians State Festival ever to be held! Workshops will be longer, Key-Note speakers will be added, and history will be made! As far as the in-person aspect and meeting tons of new people, we rewrote the stars by creating plenty of new opportunities for interactions. All eyes will be on us as we pioneer into a virtual world. The price of attending is only $50, ensuring more people from our state, and possibly others, will attend; this will expand your opportunities to meet new people! Here are a few things to look forward to at our 2020 Virtual Texas State Thespian Festival.
The Merch. For the longest time, the Texas Thespians Community has been advertising their desires for more branded items. Well, from now on we will have an online merch store that will sell things like notebooks, sweaters, charging blocks and more! This year, you will be able to brand Texas Thespians beyond just shirts and pins.
The Workshops. Workshops are a huge part of festival, and people usually feel like there are never enough options. We wanted to find a way to keep them interactive and informational, so we have a wider variety of options, longer sessions, and not to mention access to all content until January 2021.
The Key-Note Speakers. Last year our speaker was Wilson Jermaine Heredia from Rent. He spoke to us about how theatre impacted his life and shared his talent with all 8,000+ of us. This year we will have multiple Key-Note Speakers who will share with us how theatre has impacted their lives and also perform pieces from some of the greatest shows you could think of. You will also have the opportunity to send in questions to our four key-note speakers. These questions will be answered during the live festival.
The Interactions. Do you ever lie awake at night with a million dreams of festival in your mind? So do we! If you’re worried about not being able to meet new people during festival, there will be plenty of new ways to interact. Our festival platform will allow for interactions between thespians, colleges, vendors and even STOs in a new virtual way. Through our new online platform, we are able to include grants, Minute to Give it and lots and lots of scholarships virtually, and in case you haven’t heard, you may attend festival individually without your troupe!
The STO Candidates. Even though the process will be online, candidates this year will not miss out on wearing the renowned candidate hats. Candidates usually feel like they’re walking a tightrope during festival to impress the STOs. This year, the candidate process is updated to where candidates have more options to connect with STOs while also going to workshops and attending shows. Through this process, the STOs will still be able to determine what candidates will be best for the job even though we can’t assess your skills of corralling people to buy ducks. Like usual, we want to see people who are confident in saying, “This is me, and here’s what I bring to the table.”
The Theme. Some people look forward to the ducks, some await the best shows in Texas, and some reside on the other side awaiting the festival theme! Sadly, it will not be revealed on this blog post, BUT read closely and something might come alive.
If this list of things doesn’t excite you enough, just think about the ducks!
Until next time,
Your 2020 Texas State Thespian Officers