Back to the Stage

First Tiger Theatre Company camp proved successful through new skills and new friendships.

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Photo by Alyssa Kift

Students enthusiastically greet one another during the first Tiger Theatre Company camp.

Story by Colton Johnson, Editor in Chief

The curtains have been drawn and the spotlights illuminated to kick off another year for the Tiger Theatre Company.

Back to the Stage Theatre Orientation took place this Tuesday and Wednesday for all incoming and returning theater students to have a chance to learn or relearn the ropes of theater.  

“We feel like it was a really positive event to make the new people coming into theater feel welcome and to allow returning theatre students to reconnect,” theater director Lisa Newton said. “The UIL officers, Blaire Berry, Brennon Cope, Paisley Allen, Bree Barnett, Nadia Fryer and Shelby Steele, had meetings last week and they planned and ran the entire camp with the help of some students in the One Act Class who stepped in to help.”

This is the first year the theater has hosted an event like this to welcome students into the program in hopes of encouraging them to become involved.  

“We wanted to create a positive environment in the theater and make sure people felt welcome. I know when you come into a new place it can be a little confusing and scary not knowing what everything is, so we really had planned this event to eliminate some of those factors,” senior and vice president of the International Thespians Society Club Brennon Cope said. “We gave them a pretty detailed tour throughout the theater and showed them all the jobs it takes to do a show whether it be ushering, acting or technical stuff. We also wanted people to feel more comfortable about auditioning and give them a better understanding of how to audition. We took a lot of time to just try to get to know the students by playing a lot of games to bring everybody together.”

While there were many activities planned for the students, the contrasting mock auditions to show a well done, prepared audition compared to a poorly planned, weak audition gave the students insight into what they would expect walking into their own first audition. Understanding the do’s and don’ts of auditioning is something that every student hoping to get a call back would be eager to know.

“I didn’t have someone do a mock audition for me when I started which is why we had this entire orientation; we wanted people to learn new things and know skills going in that most of us didn’t know as beginners.” senior and Historian of the International Thespian Society Club Bree Barnett said. “It was a bit nerve-racking because I barely knew half of the people, but I feel like they were able to learn from the mock auditions.”

For the incoming theater students, not only were these skills greatly appreciated to learn, but the relationships they built gave them a sense of peace to know that they would know some familiar faces while trying to navigate their way through the hectic hallways.

“It really helped me to see what a good audition looked like and what a bad audition looked like because when I used to audition in middle school I had no idea what I was doing and I was scared. Now I am more prepared and I may be nervous, but I feel much better about it,” freshman Cate Rounds said. “I came to this camp because I was really nervous starting the year and I wanted to know more people to not be as scared starting as a freshman. Everyone was really nice and accepting; I am really glad everyone was so welcoming because I feel like I’m going to  have a really big family here for the next four years.“

For some students, the camp offered them a chance to come out of their shell and gave them more insight to see if they could truly see themselves finding their passion on the stage or behind the scenes.

“I want to meet people and learn the ropes so I won’t be as scared when school starts. I loved the tour and the games helped me figure out who everyone was because you get to learn who everyone is and who everyone isn’t,” freshman Abbie Olson said. “I’m not used to getting up in front of a lot of people, but I want to try something new. I like to watch plays so now I’m going to try being in one.”

Overall, while teaching the rules and regulations of the theater was an important part of the camp, the message the officers really wanted to get across was that the theater would welcome any and everybody with open arms and open hearts. It is a place for every oddball alike to find a home and a family.

“I met some really extraordinary people already and I loved how welcoming and kind everyone was,” sophomore Emma Daniels said. “It was really nice to feel like this is something they want me to be a part of and I can be a part of.”