Davis & Elkins College has been selected as the host site for the West Virginia State Thespians Festival, bringing more than 500 middle and high school theatre teachers and their students to campus and Randolph County, March 31 to April 2. The annual event, conducted at a different location each year, serves as a showcase and competition for students’ theatrical talents.

“The Davis & Elkins Division of Fine and Performing Arts is thrilled to serve as host for this festival and help support the arts in a statewide manner,” says Tom Hackman, chair of the Davis & Elkins Division of Fine and Performing Arts. Davis & Elkins theatre faculty led workshops and adjudicated competitions at the 2015 conference in Charleston.

During the three-day festival, students will compete for more than 30 prizes in various stage and technical categories. In addition, each year the West Virginia State Thespian Festival awards two $1,000 college scholarships to high school seniors for outstanding acting and/or technical work.

Workshops and performances will offer an educational aspect for festival participants. Leading workshops for middle school students will be Davis & Elkins theatre education students senior Jenny Armstrong of Kingwood, W.Va., “Introduction to Fight Choreography;” sophomore Denise Folley of Charlottesville, Va., “Stage Directions;” and senior Jacob Currence of Beverly, “Puppets for all People.”

While most activities will take place in Myles Center for the Arts, others are scheduled throughout campus.

The West Virginia Thespians is an Educational Theatre Association affiliate. Since 1929, the Educational Theatre Association and its International Thespian Society branch have been working to honor excellence among students of theatre and support the work of theatre educators.

The Davis & Elkins College Theatre Program offers courses in theatre and theatre production designed to provide students with knowledge of and experience in an art form which has played a key role in cultural history and contemporary society. Three options are available to students working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree: Theatre Arts, Design & Technical Theatre or Theatre Education. The Theatre Arts program prepares and presents three main stage productions and three to five student-directed studio productions every year.

Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.

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