The Iowa Thespian Festival was held November 11 to November 12 at the University of Northern Iowa. The Pella High School Speech and Drama department sent 20 students along with speech couch Suzi Jones and alumni chaperones Tate Petty and Paige Miller. The group experienced four main stage performances: Peter and the Starcatcher, Piece of my Heart, Next to Normal, and Almost Maine. Fifteen students also performed in individual events that ranged from theatre marketing to duet musical theater. Three seniors, Brenna Hildebrand, Natalie Henry, and Caroline Henry, will be moving on to the national thespian festival in the summer in Lincoln, Nebraska. The improv group consisting of Julie Start, Grace Larson, Ethan Vance, and Isaac Zeimetz also received 3rd in their center.
Hildebrand presented her theater marketing for James and the Giant Peach. She presented in front of three judges and Petty. She received first in her center for theater marketing.
“It must have went very well,” said Hildebrand “because I move onto nationals. It was a little nerve wracking at first, but the more I got into the easier it became.
The Henrys both performed in the same Duet Musical Theater and their own Solo Musical Theater. The Henrys received 1st in their center for their Duet Musical Theater of “I’ve Got You” from James and the Giant Peach. Caroline Henry also received 2nd in her center for her Solo Musical Theater performance of “Hell No!” from The Color Purple.
“It was nerve wracking!” said Caroline Henry. “I was super nervous because my sister’s and my music would not work, but once we started performing, we had calmed down.”