Central thespians attend festival

Each year, theatre students from all over Nebraska gather at the Nebraska Thespian Festival to watch shows, present pieces they’ve been working on, attend workshops, connect with colleges and much more. From Jan. 6-8, Central drama students attended the festival. Four students earned superior awards, the tech team placed in third and the banner created to represent Central drama placed first. 

Sophomore Amy Fischer is Central’s stage manager and the ITS clerk for Central Drama. She won a superior award for her stage management. “It signaled that I was doing something right when stage managing a show,” Fischer said. 

The Nebraska Thespian Festival has a wide variety of workshops participants attend on topics as diverse as stage combat, career advice, dance, playwriting and stage management. Stage management is the organization of the backstage and onstage elements of a show. Fischer attended a workshop with other student stage managers from all over Nebraska. “I had never been around a group that all had interest in the same job that I do so it was amazing to hear about their experience,” she said. 

Junior Brodie Urwin has attended the Nebraska Thespian Festival twice now. He enjoyed watching musical performances, attending workshops and competing as part of the improv team. One of his favorite workshops was on the topic of rendering and design. 

“I found it really fun,” he said. “It was about how to use different media for set designs and costume designs.” At Central, Urwin participates in drama as an actor, student director, publicity crew head and treasurer.  

Both Fischer and Urwin enjoyed attending a small-group workshop on diversity, equity and inclusion. “We discussed how we could improve the theaters that we worked in,” Fischer said. “I want to find a space at Central to use as a dressing room for those in the department that don’t identify as male or female.” 

“Something that I’ll bring back to Central, especially onto the stage, is not only entertaining the audience but teaching them about diversity,” Urwin added. 

The Nebraska Thespian Festival is more than theater workshops and competitions: it is an opportunity for theater departments from around the state to socialize, and an opportunity for individual theater departments to build friendships with each other. The karaoke night is a favorite activity for many attendees.  

“You get together with everyone at the festival and you get to hang out and sing songs and dance,” Urwin said. “It’s kind of like a homecoming but more fun.” 

Fischer also enjoyed the bonding activities with her fellow festival attendees. “It was nice to feel like a teenager,” she said. “The memories that we created are ones that I treasure deeply.”