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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018 1 year ago

West Orange High thespians honored with ring ceremony

West Orange High thespians were recognized for their achievement with their production of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's "Bright Star."
by: Eric Gutierrez Staff Writer

West Orange High School thespians were honored with a ring ceremony Thursday, March 8, to recognize their achievement with their production of “Bright Star.”

“Bright Star” is a bluegrass musical written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. 

Peyton Brown, left, and Isabella Bruno smiled with delight as they tried on their rings.

The students involved with the production were invited to perform on the main stage of the Florida State Thespian Festival in Tampa later this month. They have also been invited to perform at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska in June.

Being invited to perform at the main stage at both festivals is the equivalent of winning a state championship and a world championship in theater, said West Orange Theatre Director Tara Whitman.

“This is another top honor for the program,” Whitman said. “There is nothing higher for a high-school theater program to win.”

Whitman also said this is the first time the West Orange High School Theatre Department was invited to perform at the main stage at the International Thespian festival, and the second year in a row that they were invited to perform at the main stage during the Florida State Thespian Festival. Additionally, they are the first high school theater department that have been granted the rights to perform “Bright Star” on stage.

West Orange High School Principal Bill Floyd expressed pride for the school’s Theatre Department.

“You guys are top-notch and I am so proud of you,” Floyd said. “These are people who devote a great deal of time and energy to create something for others to enjoy. They spend their weekends and evenings building, creating, rehearsing and performing all for no more reward than pleasing an audience and making others happy. … It’s only fitting that we recognize them.”

Although the West Orange High School Theatre department was invited to perform at the International Thespian Festival, they need help getting there. The department needs about $80,000 to cover food, lodging, transportation and other related expenses. So far, the department needs about $50,000 to reach their goal, Whitman said.

“We still have an uphill climb (to get to Internationals),” Whitman said.

Eric Gutierrez is a staff writer with the West Orange Times & Observer and Windermere Observer. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2015 with a dual degree in Journalism and Political Science. Got a story idea? Contact Eric at...

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