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Edison drama students honored during state conference

Cary Ashby • Apr 1, 2017 at 4:00 PM

MILAN — Edison High School sophomore Allison Pennell earned a superior rating for her costume construction project during the State Thespian Conference.

Pennell was selected for the individual events showcase for her project.

“This year, Pennell designed and constructed the dress for the transformation scene in the Rodgers and Hammerstein adaptation of ‘Cinderella,’ which requires that Cinderella's rags transform to her ball gown in full view of the audience,” said Rex Stanforth, director of the Edison Drama Club.

Pennell’s superior rating again secured for her an invitation to participate in the National Individual Event Showcase, part of the International Thespian Conference in June in Lincoln, Neb.

Fourteen members of the Edison High School Drama Club and Thespian Troupe 930 participated in the State Thespian Conference. This marks the group’s 35th consecutive year of participation — a state record. 

The conference was held Friday through Sunday at Dublin Scioto High School. It is an annual event organized by the Ohio Educational Theatre Association to celebrate and showcase the best of high school theater in Ohio. This conference attracted more than 1,500 students from across the state for a weekend of performances and workshops conducted by theater educators and professionals.

On the opening night of the conference, Edison students performed “The Cat That Had a Shell,” a one-act play written and directed by junior Lydia Hoag. The performance was part of the marathon of performances presented throughout the weekend reserved for short works written or directed by students.

Hoag earlier shared the inspiration for her play — an admittedly “random idea” she developed.

“I was bored in study hall and I was wearing a turtle shirt. I wondered if turtles know what they are,” she told the Reflector.

“The Cat That Had a Shell” was one of four one-act comedies the drama club performed in the EHS auditorium in January. During rehearsals, Hoag said it was great making impromptu revisions since she wasn’t directing an adaptation of someone else’s play.

“It’s made it so much better,” she said in January.

During the conference, EHS Thespian Troupe 930 earned recognition as a Gold Level Honor Troupe.

“Among the requirements to earn (an) honor troupe recognition, a troupe must participate in three community service projects, present two major productions, tour a show, present an educational or social service play and introduce a new project for that school year,” Stanforth said.

Hoag and junior Amarjot Bhangu also participated in the individual competition. Hoag was involved in play writing while Bhangu was in stage management.

“The individual event portion of the conference provides students an opportunity to showcase their work in performance or technical theater and to have their work critiqued by theater educators,” Stanforth said.

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