Thespian Troupe set to perform at State Competition


Precious Moore, Terry Thomas and Carlton Clay appear in a scene from 1984.

For the first time in over a decade, the Thespian Troupe has advanced to the State Finals with their piece from the play “1984.”

“My wife cried tears of joy. She knows the work that’s been put into it and she was happy,” Thespian Director Thomas Mackey said.

MHS is one of eight schools to advance to the competition at the State Thespian Conference this weekend.

At the Regional Competition last month, the troupe competed against five other schools and took 2nd place in the play competition. Members also won several individual awards: 

  • Junior Terry Thomas – Best Lead Performer 
  • Junior Carlton Clay – Best Supporting Performer 
  • Best Technical — (Junior Ember Wolstenholme – Best Technical Set Design; Hailey Nolan – Best Costume Design; Adenike Zannou –  Best Makeup Design; Alena Best and Nomi Green – Best Sound Design; Jasmine Alcox and Amaya Norman  – Best Stage Management).
  • Wolstenholme also won the STO All Star award for her scenic design.

Terry Thomas, who plays the lead role in 1984, said he is both nervous and excited.

“My sister was also in the Thespian Troupe and she did it for four years and they never got the chance to compete at State, so I’m really excited that I get to go because I did not expect to win at all,” Thomas said.  “… When we got second I was insanely excited.”

Thomas had to leave the competition early for a choir concert, so he received the good news long distance. 

“Having that moment when I got the texts saying, ‘We won!’ and ‘We got all these other awards”, I got validation for it, I got this closure that I didn’t think that I would have so I was really proud of everybody like it just made me so happy that whole day,”  Thomas said. 

The play 1984 is based on the best-selling book by George Orwell. 

¨It is a novel set in a dystopian future where anything that is not outlawed is compulsory, meaning that the government has such strict regulations that they tell you exactly what you’re not allowed to do, but also have to do and there’s no deviation from those two things,” Mr. Mackey said.

“So you’re either following the rules or you aren’t and any behavior that is seen as going against the ruling party is met with ‘re-education’ or ‘vaporization’ so when you are ‘re-educated’ you are killed and sometimes both.¨

Thomas plays Winston Smith in the play.  He describes Winston as a member of the upper class party, who works and falls in love with Julia played by Precious Moore. He believes the intensity of the scenes was the key to success.

“I think being able to show all of those emotions in such a shortened amount of time was really impressive to them,” Thomas said. 

For Mr. Mackey, this is the first time he has ever had a show advance to state.

“We’ve had multiple shows that should have,” he said. “There’s a number of reasons why they haven’t, but ultimately what it comes down to is that judging is subjective so what one judge looks at and what a different judge looks at can be completely two different interpretations of what it is that we’re doing.”

Mr. Mackey is confident they will perform well this weekend.

 “I’m not nervous at all,” Mr. Mackey said.  “I train the students as if they will be working professionals one day. I’ve adopted the phrase ‘pressure is earned,’ so if students are feeling pressure it’s because they’ve earned that pressure and expectations through hard work and knowledge and they can be relied upon and those who don’t are because nothing is expected of them.”