FHHS students receive “Superior” rating at State Thespian Conference, one student elected for State ThespianCounsel

This year, Friday Harbor High School sent nine students to the State Thespian Conference in Ellensburg. After the regional conference was moved to a virtual format due to an ice storm mid-January, all nine of the students who participated by performing for adjudicators received “Excellent” ratings, with eight students qualifying for state.

At the state conference, the Friday Harbor students performed 50 minutes of cuttings from the school’s production of “The Lightening Thief: A Percy Jackson Musical” from January. Because not all of original cast could attend the conference, the students who were heading to state had to do a little re-casting, and they made extra time to rehearse on the weekends and after the weekly Thespian club meetings.

“I’m just really impressed with this bunch and their resilience, having to pull it all together,” said Lindsey Saarie, Drama Director for FHHS and FHMS, who was busy directing the middle school’s spring play and therefore unable to help the students coordinate their performance. “They just rallied and made it happen.”

The students performed for a packed audience of conference attendees in Central Washington University’s Tower Theater, receiving a “Superior” rating and trophy for their performance. In addition to performing, the Friday Harbor students participated in a variety of workshops, from singing and dancing classes given by renowned professionals, to workshops on puppetry and stage combat. They even attended a workshop on advocacy, learning how to effectively advocate for art and theater programs in school such as writing letters to school boards and tips on how to use evidence to support their claims.

Alison Power, sophomore and president of FHHS Thespian Troupe 8224, was not only a national qualifier with her solo musical performance, but she was also chosen as one of seven Student Thespian Officers for the state thespian counsel. This panel of students from across the state help plan the state conference as well as different leadership conferences and social media campaigns. Power will attend the International Thespian Festival in Indiana in June along with a few other students from Friday Harbor. As a Student Thespian Officer – the youngest on the counsel as a sophomore – Power will get to participate in different leadership workshops at the festival with students from across the nation. Power is excited to use her new platform to share her love of theater with those who might have limited accessibility to it.

“I am hoping to focus on accessibility,” said Power. “As we all know from living on the island, we do not have easy access to many opportunities that students on the mainland have access to and I’m looking forward to finding creative ways to make theatre education more accessible to us and other kids in similarly remote areas.”