Climbing on a coach bus at 7:00 am, thirteen NC theatre students left for the annual Thescon conference on Thursday, February 8. NC troupe 4225 traveled with Kell and South Cobb theatre students to Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia for the enrichment of theatre technical and performance.
“My favorite part of Thescon was the fact that we are all a part of one huge family and we accept each other even when people are different from others,” junior Chloe Vernex-Loset said.
With each student required to accumulate at least 10 thespian points and participate in at least two shows, Thescon reached a record participation this year with almost 5,000 high school students. Students gain thespian points by performing in productions or helping with Drama Club activities, such as the car wash or cleaning the theatres.
“I liked being a part of such a huge group of people, and anywhere you looked, it was just pure positivity. You see someone and you already know you have something in common with them, you know you guys are of the same mindset,” troupe vice president and junior Hope Kutsche said.
After receiving their name tags and show tickets upon arrival in Columbus, students focused all their attention on hug pins. This clever “friend-making” activity requires students to decorate clothespins with all kinds of different crafting materials. With paint, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and mini pompoms, NC students created all kinds of creatures and sculptures with their clothespins.
Hug pins, the most fun-filled way to kick off Thescon, start with a hug from one thespian to another. The students then traded pins by choosing one from each person’s lanyard. Creating new friends, thespians met multiple new people over the three-day conference.
“It was so easy to make friends with anyone you wanted to, and everyone was so supportive and kind to each other,” Kutsche said.
After the opening ceremony, students jumped right into the Thescon experience by choosing to participate in dance, stage makeup, stage combat, improv, or monologue classes. Walking the campus of Columbus State University, students explored the life of Thescon at CSU and all the different activities available for participation.
Dance classes like “Dance Your Butt Off” and “Choreography It’s Lit” allowed students to show off their skills and literally dance their butts off. While learning difficult dances to songs like “What Time Is It” from High School Musical 2 and “Finesse (Remix)” by Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B, choreographers pushed students to the limit with real Broadway dance moves.
“My favorite dance class was ‘Dance Your Butt Off.’ I’ve taken dance class with that instructor before, and I was looking forward to the challenge. He always chooses popular rhythmic musical theatre songs, and his choreography looks so unique. No one could get the choreography down perfectly, but we were all just having fun with it,” Kutsche said.
Partner dancing classes like “Lifts, Tricks, and Flips. Partner Dancing That Will Make You Sweat” showed students how to flip and dance with partners to create new choreography techniques. Partner dances required one student to flip their partner over their heads and around their bodies with well executed technique.
With this memorable experience, NC senior thespians kissed Thescon goodbye for the last time on February 10. The rising juniors and seniors cannot wait for this conference to occur next year. With a positive atmosphere, exciting classes, and new friends, theatre students all over Georgia will forever hold the conference close to their hearts
“I am so excited to go back next year. It’ll be my third and final time, and I really want to make lots of friends and maybe even try to perform. I plan on auditioning to be in the opening performance, but most of all, I just can’t get enough of the experience. Being surrounded by theatre people who are open to making friends with anyone who smiles at them is the most amazing experience I think I’ll ever have,” Kutsche said.