Four thespians from the Jesuit Masque participated in the prestigious Florida State Thespian Festival in downtown Tampa this past week (March 14-17). Over five performances, they received four ratings of Excellent and the school's first-ever rating of Superior at State competition.
Riley Buchanan '20 made history by earning the Superior rating in monologues for his performances from "Hamlet" and "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," by William Shakespeare and Steve Martin, respectively.
George Morgan '18 and Buchanan received an Excellent rating for their duet scene from Sam Shepard's play "True West." Jesuit also received Excellent ratings for monologues by Morgan ("Othello" and "Baby With the Bathwater"), Jack Mahoney '18 ("Glengarry Glen Ross" and "Biloxi Blues"), and Jimmy Grammig '21 ("Servant of Two Masters" and "Moon Over Buffalo"). Grammig is the first freshman to represent Jesuit in a solo event at the State Festival.
"I couldn't be prouder of our guys," said Jesuit's Theatre Director, Richard Miller. "The judges at State hold the kids to very high standards, and the talent level at the Festival is impressive. To come home with four Excellents and a Superior out of five performances tells you how hard these young men worked, and how much they love what they do. Also, to have a freshman and a sophomore succeed at such a high level bodes well for the future of Jesuit theatre."
The four-day State Festival celebrated the best young actors, singers, dancers, and designers in Florida. The theatre artists were assessed in solo, duet, and ensemble performances, one-act and full-length plays, and technical and design work. Over the four days, some 9,000 high school students performed at the Convention Center, the Straz Center, and the Tampa Theatre.
The Jesuit thespians had qualified for State with strong performances at District competition. The Masque joined the International Thespian Society in 2014 and has consistently qualified for and performed well at the State Festival, earning ratings of Excellent in all of its entries in duet acting, monologues, solo musical, ensemble acting, and play writing.
Next up for the Masque is its spring production of "The Great Gatsby" from April 12-14, which features Morgan, Mahoney, and Buchanan. Grammig will appear in "Cinderella" this spring at the Academy of the Holy Names.