Troupe 7336 Takes on Tampa

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One Scene at a Time: Troupe 7336 outside the Tampa Convention Center after a full day of workshops and activities, waiting to get a ride in the trolley to the Opening Ceremony in the Straz Center. Throughout the competition the Troupe went on to win many awards. Photo courtesy of Christina Rodriguez.

By: Mia Garcia

West Broward High Schools Drama Program has come a long way. This year, the Thespians accomplished many things. From winning awards at Districts to earning awards at a Florida State Level. This year, the Thespians went to Tampa Florida to attend The Florida State Thespian Festival. Overall, they came home with many Superiors. 

“It made me feel super proud of us because receiving a perfect score along with other schools who pay for acting coaches and have the resources to train, compared us to those who work with what we have, made me feel like we could just keep getting better” said Junior, Amy Reid. 

This event was from March 12th to the 16th. At this event 7 talented students competed at a state level, showcasing their pieces that received Honorable Mention and Critics Choice. Some students also competed for a scholarship. This event can give students many opportunities, including scholarships and call backs to many colleges. During this event, students are either presenting their piece or doing workshops with many talented producers, directors, singing coaches and choreographers. 

Before Thespians go to the State Level, they must compete in Districts and One Acts. District is when students compete with other schools with their solos, duets, large groups, etc. From this event, Troupe 7336 received 21 Superiors, 11 Excellences, 2 Critics Choice and 5 Honorable Mentions. There were so many emotions that filled the group that day.

“The first time I received Critics’ Choice left me in awe. When the awards were announced, all I could say was thank you repeatedly to my peers and friends because without them, I wouldn’t have done it” said Senior, Salma Yearwood.

A Thespian Troupe is just a component of a school’s theater program. In total there were 15 Districts, West Broward being the 13th District and one of the hundreds of Troupes from many different schools in Florida. After Districts, some Troupes move onto One Acts. One Acts is a competition where schools present a play that only has one act. These usually last around 20-40 minutes. In the rules it states they only have a 5-minute set up time, where they set the stage with their props and a 40-minute time limit to perform. This is crucial, if they go over the time limit, they are at risk of getting disqualified. This year, the One Act they performed was “One Stoplight Town.” Luckily, the Thespians didn’t go over time and received a Superior Performance Achievement which is a Perfect Score and a Superior in the Technical aspect of the One Act. 

After Districts and One Acts some students get selected for Critics Choice and Honorable Mention. Those who received those awards get to go to States in Tampa, Florida. The Florida State Thespian Festival lasts from March 12th to the 16th. Students present their piece to judges and win awards. During their trip they did many activities. Throughout the day they attended many workshops. They could work on singing lessons, acting techniques, learning choreography and speak to people who work on Broadway and in the performing arts. During the evening, they attended shows which include “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Chicago” in the Straz Center. Students were able to see other schools from different districts perform. Watching these performances was so fascinating and many of the students were already thinking about pieces they would want to do to compete with next year. 

“Though the performances were fabulous, the workshops remain unforgettable. They helped me think and see things in a different light. Also, meeting new people through the workshops was fun, even for someone like me who has a hard time making friends.” said Yearwood.

This talented group has put in hours and dedication to be the group they are today. Going to this festival has allowed this Troupe to create many memories and expand their knowledge of the performing arts. Preparing for this event took many months and planning. Through thick and thin this group stayed together, helping each other prepare for this event. Giving critiques and a different perspective on the pieces chosen to compete helped the students improve their performance piece. Troupe 7336 came back home and was awarded many awards, making the chaperones part of this trip, Ms. Nesmith and Mr. Fatout extremely joyful.  

“States is a wonderful opportunity, that has a blend of teaching new skills and getting closer to new people. It’s an experience that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in joining Thespians in the following years” said Senior, Enrique Borja. 

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