Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

State Drama Competition builds connections, recognizes greatness

Jesuit Drama Club traveled to Salem, Oregon to compete in the State Drama Competition (photo courtesy Instagram @jesuitdramaclub)

Jesuit is home to numerous talented and diverse students that encompass the community. These students take their unique skills to many places around campus and beyond.

Most recently, performing arts students traveled to Salem, Oregon to compete in the State Drama Competition, with many Jesuit students experiencing great success.

Prior to the State Drama Competition, 16 Jesuit students participated in the regional showcase on February 2nd in the PAC black box, in hope of being selected to compete at state.

“All schools that are members of Oregon Thespians have the opportunity to select students to compete at the regional level with many different categories, and if they receive high scores from the judges, then they have the opportunity to compete at the state level,” Co- Director Brandon McCoy said.

Following the regional showcase, 7 students received scores sufficient enough to display their performance at the state level in Salem. In spite of this, 21 Jesuit drama students attended the competition to spectate but also participate in the games, classes, and lectures of the event.

“The best thing about this is that it does not feel so much like a competition as it does a festival, with the competition piece being one afternoon of the three day event,” Director Elaine Kloser said.

Kloser explained that although it is a competition for students to perform in to hopefully be selected for the state showcase, it is ultimately an environment for learning and collaboration.

“Everyone is there to support each other, and everyone just wants to see good material,” Kloser said.
Co-director of the theater program Brandon McCoy also shared his positive feelings for the event, as it also provided opportunities for educators to develop in their field.

“The bulk of the festival is about networking; teachers get to network with other teachers and students get to meet students of other theater programs,” McCoy said.

“Students also get to take workshops in a multitude of areas such as dance, singing, auditioning, business ideas, and so much more,” McCoy said.

Of the students that attended from Jesuit, Kekowa Dowsett, Madeline Ward, Angel Dauvin, Amelia Loop, and Campbell Shaw all displayed their talents at the showcase in front of the 2000 thespians.

“My role in the performance was to read the stage directions in a poetic and flowing, storytelling sense, that really helps move the story along and give them a visual in their mind,” Kekowa Dowsett said.

Kekowa’s play was deemed meritorious and received a finalist status, which means it won at state. In conjunction with this, Kekowa was also given the opportunity to display his performance internationally.

“The international thespian festival is another level of the festival, which is a great place to meet new people and present your work,” Dowsett said.

This was Dowsett’s third year competing in the festival, further discovering the magic that the event brings.

“The most important part of the festival is not the competition, but connecting with people from all over the state and receiving feedback from your work,” Dowsett said.

For the first time in about 15 years, Jesuit had two students, Amelia Loop and Cambell Shaw enter into the tech category, and both receive superior scores.

Similar to Dowsett, Loop and Shaw also have the opportunity to compete in the international thespian festival this upcoming summer.

“I presented my stage management for Big Fish, by taking the director’s vision and putting it into a technical aspect,” senior Amelia Loop said.

Loop was very thankful to be able to showcase her talents in technical theater, especially with this category being behind the scenes.

“It was an incredible opportunity because I got to see how many different aspects of technical theater there are,” Loop said.

The festival also made time to recognize the work of technical theater in the closing ceremony.

“It was also great because during the closing ceremony, they took time to recognize the behind the scenes action because there was a heavy focus on the acting and on stage performances,” Loop said.

Jesuit was further represented at the festival with Madelyn Ward and Angel Dauvin performing at the state showcase.

“Angel and I wanted to do a dual musical, which is a song, and we ended up choosing a song called 2 Peas in a Pod,” junior Madelyn Ward said.

Ward also commented on the festival, in that it is an event for everyone to share their passions with one another.

“I definitely don’t feel that it is a competition, and we all like to consider it an opportunity to perform and showcase what you love to do,” Ward said.

The workshops also allowed opportunities for students to meet other students.

“In the workshops that we do, it’s all combined with different schools, so you can connect with new people and support them,” Ward said.

The Jesuit theater program is a well known and respected high school program throughout the state of Oregon, with highly talented students and directors. However, the State Drama Competition still provides much education and growth that further expands on what Jesuit does.

“A festival like this allows like minded theater participants to see what other people are doing, but also build on specific skills through the perspectives of the ones around them,” Brandon McCoy said.

Following the festival, McCoy also shared about the benefits that participating in theater brings to individuals, even outside the stage.

“The skills that students learn in theater are incredibly transferable to any career path, including how to be effective communicators and how to be able to work with and collaborate with people of different perspectives… and the festival highlighted that,” McCoy said.

All the 4 Jesuit thespians noted these benefits, and the way the program helps them grow as a person.

“The biggest benefit is learning to cooperate with others, especially with stage management where you have to draw on all these different ideas and make sure everything is working for people, while making sure that you are not very demanding,” Loop said.

The state drama competition was a very successful experience for all Jesuit performers, spectators, and teachers, and offered many areas of development and growth that the theater program hopes to apply to their shows back at Jesuit.

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About the Contributor
Matias Crespo
Matias Crespo, Director of Videography
Matias Crespo, who is half Ecuadorian, is a senior who has a passion for videography and Journalism. Matias is especially interested in working on documentaries that highlight different events and moments at Jesuit High School. He enjoys writing articles on sports and new teachers in the community. A student who is hoping to pursue this form of videography in college, brings a unique form of dedication and energy to the classroom to continue to get better and help others. His hobbies include filmmaking and Cross Country which is another activity that he is involved with at Jesuit. This is Matias’s second year running in the Advanced class, and is hoping to fill the role of a leader and produce new forms of media.