Eight Wooster High School (WHS) students were recently inducted into the International Thespian Society (ITS), which is the honor society for secondary school theatre students.
With an active global membership of more than 129,000 students, ITS is the student honorary division of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), the professional association for theatre education. Each Thespian inductee must complete a minimum of 100 hours of work in theatre arts and related disciplines, showcasing a development of essential 21st century life and career skills that include creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and effective communication.
“The Society was founded in 1929, and our chapter at Wooster High School was chartered as Troupe #339 in 1937,” said Todd Patterson, troupe director and assistant drama director of WHS Drama Club. “We are honored to be among the top 40 oldest, active troupes in the world. Acceptance is not easy and comes only after truly dedicated work in the theatre arts.”
Currently, Wooster High School’s ITS Troup #339 has 24 active members, with the eight newest student members receiving official induction on May 2, 2018. The eight new members include Juniors Grace Buccholz and Olivia Van Sickle, Seniors Haley Balas, Katherine Boyer, Alexis Florence and Elizabeth Perkins, and from the class of 2018 Nicholas Cosmo and Matthew Lorentz.
“I am extremely proud of our most recent inductees, as I am of all of the members who have come before them,” said Patterson. “It is wonderful to see them rewarded for their devotion to theatre. Acknowledgement of the level of hard work and level of excellence in our theatre program is often rare, as our product is largely subjective in nature. We don’t have a trophy case. We do art for the sake of art itself. And we are proud of our product.”
This year, the WHS Drama Club has 62 students involved. Besides the club’s stage productions, the group has taken part in many community events, such as Main Street Wooster’s Arts Jazz Fest, Wooster Window Wonderland and the Kiwanis Club of Wooster’s Halloween in the Park. The Drama Club students also participate in the Wooster City Schools District Fine Arts Festival and the annual WHS Homecoming Parade, and they provide workshops on auditioning and technical theatre operations.
Furthermore, all Drama Club students are active in productions of Summer Stage Wooster, a non-profit organization that was formed to financially support the club and provide opportunities for area community actors, musicians and backstage support in major summer musical theatre productions for the Wayne County community at large.