Drama strikes the drama department

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This year, new and returning members of Troupe 3814 — Heritage’s Senior Thespian troupe — will be on the same playing field for upcoming Thespian competitions because of a “changing of the guard,” as described by Fine Arts co-director Mr. Clay Cartland. Florida State Thespian Festival, a statewide initiative, has been absorbed under Thespys, a nationwide organization, and with this coalescence comes new rules for Thespian competitions. The biggest change to the rules is in regards to licensing. Students must refer to the Thespys green and red lists for shows that, respectively, are and are not approved to be used in 2023-2024 Thespians competitions. If students cannot find the pieces they’re interested in on either list, they should come to their troupe leaders for advice on how to move forward.

Currently, the licensing rules are only applicable to categories in which shows will be performed, including Student Directed Scenes, Student Choreography and all of the performance categories. This means that most of the technical categories are exempt from this change.

Some other noticeable changes include new names for different categories — Monologue is now known as Solo Acting while Ensemble Acting is now called Group Acting — and the addition of two new categories: Lighting and Stage Management. Additionally, the original time limit for technical categories — five minutes of presentation and five minutes of discussion with the judges — will be replaced by a general time limit of five to eight minutes. This removes two minutes from the total presentation time as well as any discussion with the judges, which many Thespians find valuable. “Taking away five minutes [of discussion] takes away complex conversation about technique, origin of the show etcetera,” Senior Emma Kolb said.

The rules for Pantomime, Student Directed Scenes and Student Choreography will stay the same.

Ultimately, all of these rules are subject to change as more information is passed on from level to level. To stay informed, check the rules for your category regularly on the Thespys website.

Junior Sebastian Gomez practices his Solo Musical Theatre Performance. Due to the new licensing rules, he had a more limited pool of songs to choose from. (Photo/Jadyn Jacobson)