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Fort Zumwalt students bring home state theater awards

By: Ellen Lampe


Fort Zumwalt School District’s “students of the stage” recently earned achievements at the annual State Thespian Conference, and Technical Director Lorie O’Leary from North High earned the Debbie Corbin Service Award.

O’Leary, who has been the auditorium manager at North High since 2001, works behind the scenes for countless events and productions for students in grades K-12. O’Leary guides students interested in lighting, sound and sets for high school plays and musicals. She was recognized for her contributions to the local thespian troupe, Troupe 5140 [The Panther Players], as well as her contributions to the Missouri State Thespians in promoting high standards of quality in educational theater.

Each high school organization was recognized as Honor Troupe, a title awarded for theatrical accomplishments in conjunction with community involvement.

• Fort Zumwalt West High took 25 students to the state conference. Kyle Krieghbaum, Matthew Cox, Matthew Arana, Jack Nichols and Parker Mille scored a Superior rating on their group musical number.

• Fort Zumwalt South High’s Elli Castonguay earned a Superior rating in sound technical. She qualified to compete at the International Thespian Festival in June.

• Fort Zumwalt East High took 22 students to the state conference. Olivia Flores earned a Superior for solo musical. Matt Becker and Ally Wukitsch earned a Superior rating in duet scene. Jennifer White, Jordan Carr and Rob Brown earned an Excellent in group musical. In a first for East High, Josh Simpson, Helena Kasper, Noelle Sundman and Zach Wells placed in the Tech Design Challenge.

• The Panther Players of Fort Zumwalt North High brought home several awards.  Elisabeth Johnston earned a Superior rating for stage management. Taya Horner earned an Excellent rating for lighting design. Joshua Nigus, Bobby Wessel, Divinity Wright, Rylee Fryer, Rosie Roberts, Madison Crosswhite and Olivia Thompson took home an Excellent rating for their group musical number. Claire Schwalb and Mia Millican earned an Excellent rating in duet acting. Bailey Robischeau earned an Excellent rating in the monologue category. Tessa Knopf earned an Excellent rating for her solo musical performance.  Charlie Roberts and Javier Clayborne received a Good rating for their duet musical number. Emily O’Leary, Brett Jones, Danny Behlmann and Noah Mueller received a Good rating in group acting.

• In the Tech Challenge, Gina Iannicola earned second place in the light hand and focus category. Kayleigh Bauman, Sylvia Adzoh, Gina Iannicola and Tessa Knopf received a Superior rating in tech design. Danny Behlmann, Bailey Robischeau, Joshua Nigus, Charlie Roberts and Mia Millican received an Excellent rating in hair and makeup design and improv olympix.

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