How do you celebrate the induction of your classmates into the International Thespian Society?
BASIS Ahwatukee students will put the answer on stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, when 41 students present 25 acts on stage at the school theater, 10210 S. 50th Place, Ahwatukee.
“We have six group numbers, five duet scenes and songs and 13 solos,” said drama teacher Helen O’Connell, adding:
“The students in our Musical Theater class and International Thespian Society chose songs and scenes that were exciting and inspiring to them.”
The students chose a solo, duet, monologue or scene to perform, creating a showcase for them and their talent.
“I have one group singing ‘Luck Be a Lady’ from the musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ and another group is doing ‘I Feel Pretty’ from ‘West Side Story’ and another group is doing a scene from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet.’”
The students began rehearsals about seven weeks ago and “are dedicated to producing a high-quality show.”
“In addition to our class rehearsals – the musical theater class meets every day for 50 minutes – students have been practicing during their lunch hour, and after school,” she said.
The most challenging is the show’s final number, “Revolting Children,” from the musical “Matilda.”
“The choreography for this number is intense, and was created and taught by one of our eighth-grade students, Kate Christian,” O'Connell said, adding the whole cast's love for theater is intense.
“Most students chose to do multiple numbers, for example a solo, duet, and the full group number. There were definitely a few conversations about how much time these numbers would take, but the students all rose to the occasion.”
O’Connell said that the production required so much study that “we try to keep sets and costumes minimal, while focusing on the acting.”
“We have a dedicated technical theater crew who programs all the lights and sound for the performance.” She said. “These students work together to ensure the best quality performance for our audience.”
BASIS Ahwatukee chartered its first International Thespian Society troupe last year.
High school students who have dedicated at least 100 hours to performance are eligible for induction into the troupe. Middle school students who have dedicated 50 hours or more are eligible for induction into the junior troupe.
Next week’s production includes 23 high schoolers, and 12 junior members as well as six junior alumni participating in the show.
“The International Thespian Society was founded in 1929 as an honorary organization for high school and middle school theater students in some 4,200 schools around the world.
Tickets are $5 at the door.