Jesuit High School garnered its best-ever results this past weekend (March 21-23) at the State Thespian Festival in downtown Tampa.
For the first time, two Jesuit students earned Superior ratings at State: Chris Gold ’19 for his original play “Something Inoffensive,” and Riley Buchanan ’20 for his monologues “Grace” and “Death of a Salesman.”
Gold’s Superior rating was Jesuit’s first in a technical event at the State Festival. Buchanan became the first Jesuit thespian to earn multiple Superiors at State. Last year Buchanan also earned a Superior rating – the school’s first at State – in monologues for his performances of “Hamlet” and “Picasso at the Latin Agile.”
Earning ratings of Excellent at State were Joseph Lopez ’21 in monologues, for “Edmond” and “Blithe Spirit,” and Buchanan and Xander Arena ’20 in duet acting for “Ages of the Moon.” Buchanan/Arena had earned the Critics’ Showcase award for their duet at District. (Pictured L-R on the homepage, outside of the Tampa Convention Center, are Gold, Buchanan, Arena, and Lopez.)
The outstanding results at State come just a few weeks before the Jesuit Masque’s spring production of “The Three Musketeers,” which will perform four shows over three days, April 11-13, in the MPR on campus.
Jesuit’s participation in District and State thespian competition began in 2014-15 when the students who create the acclaimed school productions joined the International Thespian Society and began participating as Troupe 8059.
Earlier this school year, six Jesuit students in five events qualified for State by earning Superior results at District: Arena, Buchanan (twice), Gold, Lopez, and Jimmy Grammig ’21 and Nicholas Asher ’21, who earned a Superior at District for their duet “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.”
This was Jesuit’s fifth trip to State led by the school's theatre director, Richard Miller, and Troupe 8059 has earned ratings of Excellent or better each timeThe State Festival draws actors, designers, writers, and other theatre artists from high schools across the state of Florida to the event at four Tampa venues, the Convention Center, Tampa Theatre, Straz Center, and Blake High School.
Individual events include monologues, duet and ensemble acting, solo/duet/ensemble musical theatre, play writing, scene design, costume design and construction, makeup design, and sound design, and the Festival also includes workshops hosted by theatre professionals and educators.