Speech students shine at State Contest; Thespians are awarded $10,000 grant to attend International Festival

Postville High School Thespian Troupe 417

The Postville Speech Team, under the direction of Derek Friederich, competed in the State Individual Contest over the weekend.

Six of Postville’s eleven entries received Division I ratings with four of those being straight one ratings.

Those receiving three I’s from the judges were Justin Hileman, solo acting; Hilary De La Rosa, prose; Andrew Hernandez, prose and Emma Heins, solo acting.

Those receiving an overall I rating were Alessa Lavrenko, poetry and Wilson Perez, radio news.

Friederich said, “I am very proud  of all of our performers as everyone had excellent performances. They all were very worthy state performers. We were to find out on Monday if any of our performers get an All-State nomination.”

Thespians are Grant Recipients

Friederich went on, “I am excited to announce that Postville Thespian Troupe 417 is the recipient of a $10,000 grant which is to be used to send our troupe to the International Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska in June.
We are one of two troupes in the country to receive one of these grants. The International Thespian Festival is a week-long immersion into the theatre arts for high-achieving students.”

Inducted thespians will be going to the Festival where they will meet troupes from across the country, attend workshops on all theatre disciplines taught by professionals and see many wonderful performances.

Students who are eligible to attend are: Sapphire Miller, Litci Marroquin, Katherine Munoz, Kelsey Mucia, Emma Heins, Andrew Hernandez, Justin Hileman, Jennifer Bernal, Veronica Santoyo, Marcy Ixen, Aleesa Lavrenko, Wilson Perez, Khiaya Burns, Estevan Sanchez and Hilary De La Rosa.

Friederich concluded by saying, “This is a huge opportunity for our thespians and will serve to strengthen our drama programs for years to come.  These fine students have worked hard all year long to be the very best and they are truly deserving of this honor. On behalf of Troupe 417, we are honored to have the opportunity to represent our school and community at the International Thespian Festival.”

The grant was made possible thanks to the Educational Theatre Association’s Send a Troupe to Festival grant, which will cover the troupes’ travel and registration expenses. Along with Postville High School Troupe 417, Westwood High School Thespian Troupe 7803 in Mesa, Arizona also was awarded the grant.

This year, an additional troupe will have the opportunity to participate thanks to the generosity of Steve Houghton, the former Assistant Director for EdTA, and his wife Dawn, who now reside in Kewadin, Michigan. They made a generous donation to benefit a troupe in Michigan. The recipient is Heritage High School Thespian Troupe 5491 in Saginaw.