Thespians on the Go: Thescon


Rachel Ducey

Troupe 60 under the blue bear at the Denver Convention Center. Photo courtesy of Ms. Ducey.

Akasha Brahmbhatt, Webmaster

On Thursday, Dec. 12, Boulder High School’s theater department, Troupe 60, set off to Denver to attend the 55th annual Colorado Thespian Conference, more commonly referred to as Thescon. Anyone who is involved in their school’s theater department was able to attend ThesCon, whether they are an actor or a techie (the people behind the scenes who really put together shows). 

As soon as the school buses pulled up to the hotel that Thescon participants stayed at, the excitement and anticipation began to grow. The first event of the weekend was a trip to the Colorado Convention Center – the main establishment for the weekend’s events – to watch the featured musical, Matilda, put on by Rifle High School. Andy Kelso, a Broadway star who has appeared in hit shows such as Kinky Boots and Wicked, was the opening act, performing songs for all the starstruck high school students. 

ThesCon offers multiple workshops to any student who attends to learn new things and work on old skills. There are multiple dance classes, offering everything from swing dance and salsa to musical theater jazz. Acting classes are also offered for anyone who is at different levels to be able to act with students from different schools in Colorado. Individual Events, more commonly known as IEs, are another event students can both watch and participate in. The student must audition, and then compete with other students who have also auditioned. Two Boulder High students, senior Risa Jones and junior Allison Lydic, participated in IEs. Many students from Troupe 60 came to support them during their IEs. Students who are more interested in the behind-the-scenes aspect of theater are able to take lighting and sound workshops or workshops for set design and props modeling. The list really doesn’t stop when it comes to the amount of workshops students can take to have a weekend full of fun!

This year, it being my first ThesCon, I had no expectations for what was going to happen. I had heard whisperings about the different workshops that ThesCon has offered and was honestly quite nervous for the ones I was going to take, however, as soon as I got there, I was surprised. The only workshop I knew I was going to be taking was one I never expected to — Swing Dance. I am not a dancer. I had only taken ballet around the age of 7 and never had thought about taking another one. Little did I know I would end up taking four dance workshops and only one acting workshop, which took me by surprise. Nevertheless, I had the time of my life! While my peers were at school cramming for the stressful week of finals that was approaching the following week, I was dancing, acting and singing along to the music with my best friends! I learned new skills during this weekend that I will be with me for the rest of my life!

Clara Fraser, a junior, had also had never been to Thescon before, but many of her friends had and she was thrilled to be able to go this year. “We all boarded the bus to Denver after school, those of us who had already been making jokes and laughing about previous years. We arrived in Denver, and everyone crammed into the elevator and rode up to our rooms. Thescon had begun.” She explained that it turned out to be a weekend full of dancing, laughter, and little sleep. Clara is part of setcon, which means that she helps build the set rather than actually taking part in any acting, and “it still was amazing to go to the conference from the perspective of a techie. Although I didn’t go to any, numerous techie workshops were offered, and I heard that they were fantastic.” It was an amazing and inspiring experience, as well as just plain fun.