Thespians gather for PA State Conference at NPHS

The+masks+come+off+-+Thespians+from+all+over+the+state+come+together+outside+the+auditorium

Michelle Patelmo

The masks come off – Thespians from all over the state come together outside the auditorium

TOWAMENCIN – Buses rush in hundreds of children to flood the halls of North Penn. Screams fill the auditorium for three straight days. This craze is not caused by a disease or hysteria, but by the Pennsylvania Thespian Chapter Conference. 

North Penn hosted the PA Thespian Chapter Conference from December 1st to December 3rd. Hundreds of thespians came together to meet each other and share their love of theatre. A thespian is a student recognized by the International Thespian Society for their participation in theatre. Groups of thespians called troupes have the opportunity to present performances and participate in workshops for their passionate, theatrical peers at this year’s conference. Host troupe director Mrs. Andera Roney (she/her) emphasizes why the conference is one of the most important events of the year.

The conference highlights the importance of a curricular and an extracurricular theater arts education in supporting and developing well-rounded students.”

— Andrea Roney - NPHS Theater Director

“The conference highlights the importance of a curricular and an extracurricular theater arts education in supporting and developing well-rounded students. Research shows that a theater arts education and participation in theater productions builds communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity as well as compassion and empathy in students better than any other discipline. This event allows ‘theater kids’ to celebrate their love of theater, their collaborations, and their talents through shared experiences watching performances and auditions,” Roney explained. 

Michelle Patelmo

760 thespians came from around the state to North Penn Highschool to officially begin the conference. The State Thespian Officers or STO kicked off the conference during opening ceremonies. Members of the STO have been planning this event since they were elected last December. Sara Law (she/her), an STO from Ridley High School, is enjoying her experience in her position. 

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“I was elected last year. Every single month we have a Zoom call with the entire board of directors and we plan this whole thing. We figure out the theme, what merchandise we’ll sell, and what events we want. STOs get to see behind the scenes of the conference, and it’s honestly a different level of being a thespian. To become an STO, go to https://www.pathespians.org/ to sign up as a candidate to be eligible for election,” Law said. 

Performances, workshops, and challenges make up the bulk of the conference. However, students often remember the conference for the friendships they made those days. Luke Marshal (they/he), a student at State College Area High School, was excited about their time at the chapter conference. 

“There are so many different workshops and people. Everyone has their own interests, and seeing passionate people come together is really wonderful. One of the most important things in theatre is connection, so being able to make these relationships with these passionate people is beautiful.” Marshal said. 

The conference creates a sense of community among those who may not have otherwise met if not for their passion. Katie Moseley (she/her), North Penn Thespian Troupe’s Historian, sees the importance of the conference as a student and thespian.

Michelle Patelmo

“The conference is a really cool experience. You get to meet so many new people that have the same interests you do. Because the district is so big, we are one of the only schools with a thespian troupe in the area. It’s good to know there are others in the state who appreciate theater as much as we do,” Moseley said. 

Every year students and teachers alike look forward to seeing the comradery between thespians at the conference. This event allows the outcast ‘theater kids’ to spread their wings and share their passion. To join next year’s conference, join your school’s Thespian Troupe. You can find more information at https://www.pathespians.org/.