Junior Thespians advance to nationals


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Quest Elementary School students who advanced to nationals at the Florida State Junior Thespian Festival include, front row from left, Kenzie Rennemann, Holly Yoho, Reagan Meyers, Sofia Obermaier, Victoria Paulsen, Jordyn Rennemann; second row, Michael Heissenbuttel, Brandon Davis, Alex Cheek, Jerry Meyers, Samantha Sicoli, Chase Tarrillo, Nick Boock; and back row, troupe sponsor Frank Caufield, Alan Benitez and Julie Adams.

Viera Voice photo

Thousands of middle school students from across Florida came to the King Center for the Performing Arts Feb. 7 and 8 to compete in the 2014 Florida State Junior Thespian Festival. 

Quest Elementary School Junior Thespian Troupe 88973, sponsored by Quest and led by sixth-grade teacher Frank Caufield, sent 15 junior thespians from the Viera community to compete in 10 events. 

The Quest troupe earned recognition in 10 events: four monologues, two solo vocals, one duet acting, one pantomime, one small group musical and one large group musical. The 10 events earned two “Superior” ratings and five “Excellent” ratings, with the two superior ratings qualifying them to move on to the National Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska June 23 through 28. 

Competition included both the performing and technical sides of the theater, with one-act plays, large and small group musicals, duet acting, pantomime, solo vocals, monologues, costume design, set design and more.

 “The accolades our students received at the state festival are a result of their dedication and hard work,” Caufield said. “When one considers they do not have the advantage of participating in a school drama program during the normal school day, their accomplishments are magnified in significance. 

“How did they do it? They wake up early each morning to arrive at school for rehearsals beginning at 6:30 a.m. and rehearse until school begins. Add in the rehearsals at home during the evenings and on weekends and one can see how important the performing arts are to this dedicated group of students. It is this commitment to the performing arts that brings our small Junior Thespian Troupe such great success and recognition at the district and state level.”

In order to qualify for the state festival, the students had to earn an excellent or superior rating in their individual/team events during the district competition this past December at West Shore Junior/Senior High School.  

Now that the State Junior Thespian Festival is over, Caufield said his Junior Thespians welcome new students to join the group of performers as they begin production of their spring musical “Nifty Fifties,” to be performed at Viera High School in May. For more information, call 

321-242-1211, ext. 5709.  VV