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AHS theater students excel at state conference

Ashland High School Theatre was honored along with four high school drama groups across the state for Outstanding Achievement in Educational Theatre at the Oregon State Thespian Conference April 7-10 in Eugene held at the Hult Center and South Eugene High School.

"This year was amazing," AHS Theatre teacher Betsy Bishop said. "Our 36 Ashland actors and techies enjoyed it all and reveled in their achievement."

The conference featured the AHS production of "Anatomy of Gray" on opening night, "Children of a Lesser God" by Springfield Academy and "Almost Maine" by Westview. There were also 20 one-act plays, a Tech Olympics, dance classes, acting seminars, technical and design workshops as well as two social dances over the four days.

Student standouts include Pia Marchetti who took second place for a T-shirt design for Shakespears' "Much Ado About Nothing; Rosie Alspach, Jazmine Dake and Emma Harding, who conducted a tap dance workshop and taught a number, "Steam Heat" from Pajama Game; and Jesse Sharpe and Rocky Garcia-Flores, who, conducted a sound design and sound mixing workshop using sound board and computers.

The AHS cast and crew took home an Honors Showcase Outstanding Award Plaque for the AHS production of "Anatomy of Gray" which was performed at the competition on April 8.

The crew worked for 12 hours to unload the truck, reconstruct the set, hang and focus lighting, ready the fly system, body mic the actors and fine tune sound, set up prop tables ready the costume and makeup, according to Bishop. From 8 a.m. until the 7:30 p.m. curtain, AHS techies worked with union professionals who allowed the students to run the show, Bishop said.

"The performance was fantastic because the audience was responsive to every nuance and line," Bishop said. "At 9:30, after their standing ovation, we packed it all up in one hour and it looked as if we had never been there. What a great group of students."

Fifty-one schools attended the conference.