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Prairie Heights Theatre returns from Nebraska

Students from the Prairie Heights International Thespian Society (ITS) traveled to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for Thespian Festival 2015, where they attended workshops and competed in events with ITS troupes from across the United States.

Corrine Reed and T.J. Missler, the troupe leaders, took 10 students with them to the festival that started Monday, June 22, and continued until Saturday, June 27.

One of the highlights of the trip was that back in May Shantell Asher was chosen to be a part of the opening festival performance on the evening of June 22. It is the third year in a row that Indiana has been represented in the opening festival by a Prairie Heights student.

Asher, along with Broadway performers Carla Stickler of “Wicked” and Bud Weber of “Something Rotten!”, participated in a performance celebrating the work of musician Alan Menken, the creator of the music for many of Disney’s most memorable animated works including: “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and “Aladdin.” The show was performed twice on June 22 to accommodate the almost 4,000 festival attendees.

On June 23, the Indiana Tech Challenge team called Nerd Nation, made up of Prairie Heights students John Claudy, Ashton Reed, Landon Swogger, and Emily Rheinheimer with Lake Central student Brandi Stockton-Fresso, competed against 33 other teams. The Nerd Nation had the third fastest time for setting up a sound system and sixth fastest time in legging a platform. The other four events that they competed in were the costume quick change, props shift, backdrop folding, and sewing a button. Once all the scores were tallied, the Nerd Nation team placed fifth overall.

Kyrstin Kocher presented her stage management binder for the individual event judges and more than 40 college representatives on June 24. She received feedback from the judges and also received 18 college callbacks.

Throughout the week, students attended workshops on various topics, ranging from stage combat and acting methods to script writing and stage management. Additionally, the students were able to see a variety of main stage shows such as “The Little Mermaid,” “White Christmas,” and “The Addams Family.”