The student news site of Utica High School


The student news site of Utica High School


The student news site of Utica High School



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Theatre students in Lansing for Michigan Thespian Festival

What happens when thespian troupe #4260 heads to Michigan Thespian Festival Right Before The Holidays?
Natalie Garwood
Senior Kenadi Hazen performs a trio at the student showcase.

During December, a group of 15 students and 5 chaperones headed toward the capitol of Michigan to watch school productions of popular plays, choreography demonstrations, and even made puppets and masks.

The trip started in the school parking lot, with students split apart into the different escorts’ cars.

“The ride was very fun,” senior Alex Remirez said. “My two best friends were there and we enjoyed each other’s the music.”

The group then headed to the pool and later went to sleep. First thing in the morning, the thespians were introduced to the event, some for the first time.

“During the opening ceremonies we watched a presentation from a lady who played Christine In Phantom of the Opera,” sophomore Anna Stecker said. “She talked to us about building confidence and how its important to have faith in yourself as an actor.”

Many workshops were held after that, teaching students skills they never would have though they would have.

“My favorite workshop was Acting Through Dancing,” senior Emma Clarke said. “We learned choreography from Hamilton with an amazing teacher., Mikey Winslow”

With all the workshops, thespys, and scholarships; student worked their butts off to create beautiful shows.

“I loved the Radium Girls performance since they were absolutely incredible and I’m a historical kind of person,” senior Natalie Garwood said. “I didn’t like Eatting Rhode Island or the one about Substitute Teachers.”

The biggest attraction to most though was the thespies where these hardworking kids would be put to the test.

Senior Lily Oddo presents Directing Thespy that later gets her scholarship for Saginaw Valley State University (Natalie Garwood)

“My favorite part would be the thespy and the Improv Olympics since I made a lot of friends there,” senior Beesan Nijmeh said. “I wish I could have met more people because everyone was amazing.”

Those who did not have thespies or didn’t have theirs at the moment were aloud to see others’ and even make it a more special experience.

“I really liked taking pictures of everyone’s thespies and performances because there weren’t many tech workshops, especially for lights,” senior Natalie Garwood said. “I really like taking pcitures for people because its something for them to look back on and remember. Its important to have pictures of you doing the stuff you love to do.”

After all of that our very own troupe performed in the Student Showcase.

“I got to perform in front of 1500 people in the Student Showcase,” senior Maia Suggs said. “It was surreal to realize that I was able to do something so big with a group of people that are some of my best friends.”

The whole experience was a game changer for even some of the longest running members of the National Thespian Society

“Being surrounded by a bunch of their supportive theatre kids from all around Michigan is such an amazing experience,” junior Jaelyn Kaczmarczyk said, “and I’ve made many new friendships.”

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About the Contributors
Misty Thomson
Misty Thomson, Reporter
Misty Thomson is a junior and this is her first year on the staff. She enjoys listening to artists like Pixies, The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys, and Gorillaz.  She is happy to be a part of ITS, Book Club, and Utica United. She hopes to one day be a psychologist or teacher. Her friends are her world, and she is very close to her family. She is a huge movie fan and hopes to share her love for these things in the stories she writes.
Natalie Garwood
Natalie Garwood, Photography Editor
Natalie is a senior and this is her third year on staff. Along with being the Photography Editor for the newspaper, she is also the Editor-in Chief of the Warrior Yearbook.  She runs the popular Photo of the Day series on the yearbook Instagram @uhswarrior. Natalie has gone to Michigan Scholastic Press Associations Summer Workshop 3 times where she won 2 Excellence Awards and 1 Sparty Award. She runs lights and designs the playbill for Utica's theatre program, is a part of International Thespian Society Troupe #4260, and is also in National Honor Society.

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