The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Carlmont Thespians attend the California Thespian Festival

Jessica Li
During the Thespian Festival, students were able to experience many new activities, including playwriting, acting, and directing. Referred to in the photo was the juggling workshop, which were many of the students’ favorite. “The thespian trip gives us an opportunity to experience parts of theater we may not yet understand or have the pleasure of knowing about,” said Sam Dechaine, a current senior.

As some Carlmont students prepared for spring breaks of traveling and relaxing, the Carlmont drama program brought their thespians to the Thespian festival for competitions, workshops, and practicing skills of playwriting and directing.

The 2024 Thespian Festival was held at Upland High School in Southern California, with over 1,500 students and teachers participating.

“The Thespian Festival is such a unique and important opportunity for Carlmont Drama students,” said Elizabeth Berg, the director of the drama program. “They are doing great work in the theater spaces, but they don’t always get to take that work beyond Carlmont.”

Through this experience, students are able to perform and compete with many other top theater programs throughout the state, receiving qualifications and scoring. The festival started to use two tracks, blue and gold, to accommodate for a sharp increase in students, chaperones, and parents participating in the activities and festival.

“Each state has its own Thespian Festival, and students who do well can qualify to compete at the national festival,” Berg said.  

As a part of the International Thespian Society, 18 students were brought to the festival this year. They entered 15 competitions, including improvisation competitions, and talent shows. Students were given many roles, onstage and backstage, as they performed scenes, with some in the opening and finale numbers.

Our students will prepare for competitions, receive feedback from professional adjudicators, take a range of workshops, and so much more,” Berg said. 

Other than competitions and acting, students were able to enjoy their free time with activities, such as juggling, a favorite amongst the students.

“The festival was such an open and accepting community and I was able to just walk up and learn how to juggle. Everyone was really welcoming and supportive,” said Milena Hanson, a current junior. 

Mainstage dance numbers, productions of musicals, and other late-night activities allowed for not only education but an enjoyable and fun experience for the students as well.

“I didn’t participate in any of these late-night activities, but I have never laughed harder or screamed louder in my life,” Hanson said. 

I didn’t participate in any of these (late-night activities), but I have never laughed harder or screamed louder in my life

— Milena Hanson

Throughout these competitions, students were able to get callbacks for their scenes. Sam Dechaine and Griffin della Gatta, two students in the program, were able to receive one of these callbacks for their scene from a play titled “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” Many others were able to receive high-level ratings in their competitions.

“I think everyone in our troupe who submitted something received a superior which was awesome!” Dechaine said. 

As the thespians prepare for their next performance, “Wonderland,” they continue to explore the world of drama on the stage as the Carlmont drama community.

“I think the festival empowers students and makes them feel less alone. We met so many amazing people at the festival and also became a much closer bond as a troupe in general,” Dechaine said. 

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About the Contributors
Emma Wu
Emma Wu, Staff Writer
Emma Wu (Class of 2026) is a sophomore who enjoys playing the violin, traveling, and painting. She is a campus writer who focuses on local events and is excited to expand her knowledge of the culture and people around the Bay Area. You can find her hanging out with her friends, going to an orchestra rehearsal, or planning her next trip.
Jessica Li
Jessica Li, Staff Writer
Jessica Li (Class of 2026) is a sophomore, and this is her first year in Carlmont Journalism. She enjoys participating in theatre, playing piano, and hanging out with friends.

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