Of course, actors tend to have a flair for the dramatic, and in the theater some things aren’t always what they appear to be.
But whatever the couple did, it must have worked well in their duo scene. The pair received a score of “excellent” for their rendition of a scene between Petruchio and Katherina, or Kate, in William Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.”
“Long story short, I had a welt on my face,” Lively said teasingly.
Five Spanish Springs High School Students had the opportunity the weekend of March 21 to compete in the Nevada Thespian State Conference in Las Vegas. All five managed to earn scores of “excellent” in their categories, a rare achievement for many schools, let alone Washoe County School District.
Lively, Fisher, junior Matthew Bidart, sophomore Ryan Costello and junior Taylor Kader prepared duo scenes or monologues chosen from the classical works of Shakespeare and Moliere.
The conference gave Spanish Springs’ animated teens a chance to be critiqued individually with feedback from theater professionals and teachers.
Students also attended acting workshops to hear different perspectives on topics such as armed combat and unarmed combat
Matt Bidart quipped that such a workshop might have helped Lively and Fisher.
“It was fun; she slapped me in the face,” Lively said. “It wasn’t fake.”
Bidart couldn’t resist chiming in, “We didn’t take the stage combat workshop until the next day.”
Students could earn scores of fair, good, excellent and superior.
Judges scored based on character development, movement, voice and overall presentation. Scores of 100 were averaged among the three, so a score of superior was 34. Although the top two duos or individuals who earn superiors in their category automatically qualify for the national competition in Nebraska and have their trips paid, those with a score of excellent can also attend but have to fund their travels themselves, the young actors said.
Kader and Costello were one point shy of superior, Bidart said.
Bidart also was elected to serve on the State Thespian Board, in which he will fly to Las Vegas frequently to represent fellow students.
Bidart said the weekend competition was a chance to meet other students also interested in theater and dance.
Spanish Springs drama and dance teacher Sara Bogard said Bidart’s election to the five-member board, with two of its members from northern Nevada for the first time ever, is an honor.
“I was excited Matt was even nominated for the student State Thespian Board,” Bogard said. “What it means is that he’s going to be one of the lead people that helps make decisions about festivals and how they’re run and educating young thespians or people who want to become them.”
The students are now working on several productions back at home, including Friday and Saturday’s “Flights on Foots,” a showcase of students’ dance routines. Next month, theater students put on the musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”
All the students put in hours of rehearsal every day. Bidart said he will be taking advanced musical theater class next year.
“You’re trying to put words to meaning, but when you’re acting, you get to put meaning to someone else’s words,” Bidart said.
“Which is the exact opposite and much more challenging,” Lively added.
“We’re all cut from the same block,” Bidart said. “We’re all drama kids. We all make a lot of friends. It was really nice and really fun. It was basically just the same type of kids running around (at the competition).”
Matt’s mother, Michelle, said the group plans to go to the Nebraska competition, but is looking for some donations for the trip because it will cost $1,100 per student, or $5,500 total.
To donate, contact Michelle at 846-8984 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.