EHS Participates in Illinois High School Theatre Festival

Taylor Meek, A&E Editor

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EHS drama students ventured to the Illinois High School Theatre Festival on Thursday, Jan. 9.

IHSTF is the largest, oldest high school theatre festival in the nation that lasts three days and takes place at Illinois State University.

Around 25 schools are invited to the festival each year.

An adjudicator was sent by the Illinois Theatre Association to watch the fall shows from many high schools statewide.

“They [the adjudicators] decide by how the actors performed, and how well the show fits the theme,” Foley said.

Drama club senior representative Ellie Paschall explains how EHS was selected to attend IHSTF.

“These adjudicators then brought their notes to a larger panel of judges to decide which shows from across the state could perform at the festival,” Paschall said.

The show that won its spot at the festival was “Little Shop of Horrors,” a dark comedy about a flower shop that is taken over by a blood-thirsty plant.

Wednesday, Jan. 8, the drama kids loaded up the semi-truck loaned to them by the band program and the following Friday, they took the stage.

“…we performed “Little Shop of Horrors” twice for 990 other high schoolers who love theatre,” Paschall said.

The festival is meant to be non-competitive and more of a commemoration of high school theatre.

“It’s really just a celebration of the art that everyone has worked so hard on to create,” Paschall said.

Junior Isaac Hobin, who played the role of the “Interviewer” and performed in the ensemble, enjoyed the performance aspect of the festival.

“It was amazing,” Hobin said. “Everyone did their best for a great audience.”

But performing isn’t the only draw towards the festival.

“After our last performance… we spent the rest of Friday and Saturday watching other schools shows… and going to workshops to learn more about specific areas of theatre,” Paschall said.

Assistant Stage Manager senior Ken Korunka was most intrigued by the social scene.

With various schools participating and a wide range of workshops, including gore make-up and stage combat, there was little time for boredom.

“Performing for people from different high schools that shared the same love for theater was an incredible experience, and they were a lively audience,” Korunka said.