Larks invest time training high school actors

by Trey By Trey Greening

While Larks are known to be prairie birds, there is an exaltation of students who flock to the confines of a theater. 

These are a select group from Hesston’s theater department who travel to local high schools to train aspiring thespians and help recruit potential perspectives for the upcoming year.

“The touring theater company is a group of students – a lot of them are theater scholars – who tour at different high schools to do theater workshops,” said company director Carla Lahey. “They also do tour shows later on at the end of the school year.” 

Sophomore Tanner DeGrado says that the visits are geared toward developing practical theater skills. 

“We will do an improv workshop that kind of helps them with their improvisational skills and then we do an audition workshop as well,” DeGrado said. “We kind of like show them why auditions shouldn’t be as scary as they are and give them tips and tricks on how to be prepared for your auditions.” 

Lahey said even though the students travel outside of school to help young actors develop their skills, they still host events on campus to get students who are serious about acting onto campus to check out Hesston College. 

“We have set aside these next two to three weeks that we’re doing the workshops. Then we stop and get ready for an event we are holding on campus called ‘Theater Fest,’ which is where we invite high school students to come here.”

DeGrado says that even if students choose not to go into theater later in their life, they could still show some interest in the school and could become a future Lark. The traveling theater group plays a big part in the recruiting process for the theater department.

“I think for the theater program specifically, it’s good to get our name out there and get people to know that we have a theater program,” he said.

And it’s not too late to join.

“I would recommend it to all of the students on campus because it’s really fun and it’s also awesome to watch others grow as you help them and as you grow yourself,” DeGrado said. 


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