Barrington High School students see all sides of theater at downstate fest
Barrington High School students traveled to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign last weekend to take part in the Illinois High School Theatre Festival. | Photos courtesy District 220
Updated: February 19, 2013 12:46PM
BARRINGTON — Barrington High School students traveled to the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign last weekend to take part in the Illinois High School Theatre Festival.
Close to 5,000 students from high schools around the state participated in the festival, which offered performances and a wide range of theater workshops.
“There’s everything from acting to the technical side,” said Vanessa Woods, a junior who participated in a directing workshop.
Other workshops included lessons on makeup, costumes, sound and lighting. The students said there was also a workshop on how to go into theater as a career.
“It’s a lot of fun because everyone’s there for the same reason,” said sophomore Emily Gilbert.
There were also performances by many of the high schools that participated. Woods said some of the performances included “Chicago,” “Brothers Grimm,” “The Crucible” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
“I think it was an awesome experience for them,” said Lisa Southern, fine arts teacher at Barrington High School who accompanied the students on the trip. Southern said the festival covers all aspects of theater and even appeals to students who are interested in dance because of the movement workshops. Southern said she also thought the performances by other schools was valuable for the students.
“They were able to use the type of constructive criticism we taught them,” she said.
Michelle Radogna, a sophomore interested in the technical side of theater, said she was impressed with the workshops that covered sound and lighting.
Woods, Gilbert and Radogna said they enjoyed all the shows that other high schools brought to the festival. Although they all said they like comedies and drama, they also expressed affinity for musicals.
“There are so many different aspects of musical theater,” Gilbert said.
Woods said she enjoys watching different casts put on various productions.
“It’s good to see the different character adaptations and how they are portrayed,” she said.
About 35 students from Barrington High School attended the festival. Next year, the festival will be held at Illinois State University in Normal.
Radogna said she is definitely planning on returning to the festival next year to further sharpen her theater skills.
“It was a good first time experience and I definitely plan on going again,” she said.