Members of Joseph High School Thespian Troupe # 4809 traveled to the Oregon State Thespian Conference held April 3-5 in Eugene at the Hult Center, South Eugene High School, and the Hilton Hotel.

The Troupe received its fifth Troupe of the Year award in the 18 years since it was chartered. Ali Garrett, Marc Duncan, Alex Welch, Jacob Schoen, and Darian Glover were on hand to accept the award.

Only three of 80-plus troupes chartered in the state are selected each year for program excellence. The selection is made based on thespian events attended, troupe involvement in their school and the production season. Other considerations are troupe involvement in the community (such as service projects, fund raisers, and field trips), and any unique or outstanding theatre experiences or projects the troupe had in the past year.

Among other activities, the Joseph Troupe attended the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland last spring and staged a fall play and winter dinner theater.

In another recent activity, the troupe hosted its annual awards and initiation ceremony at Wallowa Lake Lodge.

New members initiated were freshmen Ali Garrett, Alex Welch, and Marc Duncan and sophomore Darian Glover.

Troupe Director Pam Latta then honored Gail Swart with the 2008 Community Award for lifetime contribution to the performing arts.

Bud Sanders, accompanied by his wife Judy, was recognized for his support as principal of Joseph High School when the Troupe was chartered in 1991.

Jacob Schoen was honored as Best Actor, while the Best Actress Award was presented to Anna Bird. The Director's Award for overall participation in drama was presented to Alex Welch. Winners of the Freshman Award for Outstanding Acting were Marc Duncan and Ali Garrett.

Departing from tradition, Rising Star Awards were presented to two middle school students, Ann Williamson and Casey Hayes for their dedicated work in theater.

The Bryn Lunde Award for Achievement in Technical Theater was given to Darian Glover. Nick and Angie Lunde have sponsored this award since 2005.

Anna Bird received the Honor Thespian Award as the member attaining the highest Grade Point Average for the Year.

Participating in the Academic Awards ceremony on March 12, advisor Pam Latta had already awarded the troupe's top honor, the Best Thespian Award, to Ali Garrett. Garrett has appeared in each of the five plays since January 2008, assisted with Drama Club fundraisers, organized a Drama Camp as part of an FCCLA project, appeared in Missoula Children Theatre's "Rumplestiltskin," and attended the state conference.

Ali is also directing the one-act play "Juvie" by Jerome McDonough, to be presented to the high school students on the final day of classes.

For more information about becoming a part of the Joseph schools' theater program, contact Pam Latta at 432-7130.

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