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West Virginia Division of Culture and History to host State Thespian Festival


The Cultural Center will set the stage for more than 400 high school students as the West Virginia Division of Culture and History hosts the annual West Virginia State Thespian Festival April 15-17. Drama students will perform, attend workshops and be judged on their technical theater skills.

The Festival begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 15, and ends with an awards ceremony at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 17. At that time, five outstanding play performances, four scene performances, technical theater winners, an all-state cast and two $500 scholarships to individual students will be announced. The Thespian Teacher of the Year will also be acknowledged.

Twenty-four schools from six areas of the state will participate in the Festival. There will be 15 plays and 17 scene entries judged by five guest adjudicators. Eighteen theater professionals will provide technical theater adjudications and lead students in workshops.

Technical theater categories include costume, lighting, mask and set design; make-up, playwriting; properties; publicity; puppetry; stage management; and tech rodeo. Thirteen workshops, held Thursday through Saturday, will round out the Festival. Topics include “Broadway Razzle Dazzle,” “Cool Colors: An Introduction to Choosing and Using Color on Stage,” “Finding Your Light,” “Giving and Receiving: Games for Getting the Most from Your Acting Partner,” “How to make a Life Cast the Hollywood Way,” “Introduction to Stage Combat,” “Introduction to Stage Management,” “Portfolio Prep for Student Designers and Technicians,” “Scene Painting Basics,” “So You Wanna be a Set Designer,” “SPF/X Construction Make-up,” “Theatre Games,” and “Understanding Shakespeare.”

For more information about the 2004 West Virginia State Thespian Festival, contact Pat Cowdery, events coordinator at (304) 558-0220, ext. 130, or Anna Kozak, program specialist at ext. 129.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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