Burlington-Edison High School Students Shine at the ‘2018 International Thespian Festival’ in Nebraska


Every summer, thousands of high school students, better known as Thespians, bring their love of all things theatre to the International Thespian Festival, which is a celebration of student achievement in the arts. The event is organized by the Educational Theatre Association, and is hosted by the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

The Festival is a one-of-a-kind, week-long immersion experience in singing, dancing, acting, designing, directing, creating, writing, and memory-making. It features workshops that are presented by theatre professionals, individual and group performances, programs for technical theatre students, and opportunities to audition for college admission and scholarships.

Burlington-Edison High School was the only school in attendance from both Whatcom and Skagit Counties, and they represented the Skagit Valley very well! Here are some of their astounding achievements:
  • B-EHS qualified the most students (16) to compete at the Festival of any 2A high school in the state.
  • Drama festivals do not delineate based on school size/classification. There are only two other schools in Washington State who qualified more students than B-EHS, and they are both 3A schools. The students represented Skagit County, Burlington-Edison, and Washington State.
  • National qualification requires an overall “Superior” adjudication rating, which is a score of at least 90% on combined rubrics. The B-EHS students received Superior Ratings at both the State and National events.

Holly Wood, of the B-EHS Drama Department, had this to say of the students’ accomplishments:

To have this many students from Burlington-Edison/Skagit Valley qualify for showcase auditions on this International Stage is unprecedented. It’s been an amazing week! The students are so appreciative of the wonderful support they received from their families and their community that helped them raise the money they needed to attend the festival!

Multiple students had specific accomplishments recognized during the Festival. Some include:

  • Senior Andrew Martinez scored in the top 10% of ALL solo musical theater performances in Washington state.
  • B-EHS’ “Group Musical” scored in the top 10% of ALL group musical numbers in Washington state. The group is comprised of: Joey Cisneros, Mitchell Wolfe, Adam Greenberg, Marcos Gonzalez, Benjamin Crosby, Carlos Roques, Ole Yeoman, Vincent Chiabai, Collin Sullivan, Joshua Sullivan and Tyler Fransson.
  • Seniors Amylia Palmer & Benjamin Crosby and Freshman Crysta Danson each qualified for national showcase auditions in solo musical theater by receiving “Superior” adjudication ratings.
  • Senior Benjamin Crosby and Sophomore Carlos Roques scored in the top 20% of ALL students in the state for solo musical theater and monologues, respectively.
  • Sophomore Carlos Roques was chosen as a member of the International Thespian Festival Improv Intensive Group that performed a festival showcase.
  • Sophomores Emily Powers & Chloe Brady were chosen to receive a scholarship to the festival for their short film centered on the effects of gun violence in our community (based on The Cascade Mall Shooting).
Congratulations to these 16 students! They have a bright future ahead of them.

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