Students to attend California State Thespian Festival

Juliana Moraes-Liu, Author

Members of Palo Alto High School’s Thespian Troupe 909 will be attending the California State Thespian Festival from March 23-25 in Upland, Calif.

The California State Thespian Festival offers several workshops, performances and awards, and several Paly students will be performing at the festival, both in large groups and in smaller performances.

“The one act play, ‘English Made Simple’ by David Ives will be presented at the All Festival Event,” according to theater teacher Kathleen Woods said. “The production won the Northern California One Act Thespian Competition. Zarek Siegel directed the show as his Theatre 4 Honors project and actors are Grace Barry, Zachary Freier-Harrison and Carly King.” 

Senior Grace Barry’s play “YES: a play about the big questions,” was selected from a statewide original play competition, and will be cast, rehearsed and presented at an All Festival event, according to Woods.

In addition, Paly’s Thespian Troupe 909 will be performing scenes from Mary Krell-Oishi’s plays and scene books, according to Woods.

Thespian Troupe 909 has forty members, and has attended four out of the past five California State Thespian Festivals. This year, Rebecca Ackroyd, Grace Barry, Briana Billups, Leah Bleich, Zachary Freier- Harrison, Heather Gaya, Hannah Gorelik, Caroline Johnson, Carly King, Justin Krasner-Karpen, Rebecca Kreiger, Julia Sanchez, Zarek Siegel and Henry Wilen will be attending the festival. All members have dedicated over 100 hours to Paly’s theater program.

Some students will receive awards, and Paly may end up with additional honors, according to Woods.

Woods had high expectations for Paly at the festival, both in terms of their learning experience and enjoyment of the arts.

“[I hope] that students have a great time and learn a lot,” Woods said.  “[I hope] that they make new theatre friends and see some material they might be excited about producing. That they take advantage of the many opportunities made available to them.”