(Top left to bottom right) Reilly O’Donnell, Nate Viscaino, Will Anderson, Elizabeth Fleenor, Kellen Flynn, Grace Blanchette, Sarah Gruenberg, Izzy King, Kendra McGuire, Jaymi Knudson, Marli Messner, Natalie Lawton, Dylan Rariden, Jae Churchill-Dicks, Emi Hegarty, Grace Sorensen, Lana Frisinger, Elena Hazzard, Chloe Leis, Maren Halsey, Riley Newton, Tayah Hester and Kate Torcom | Photo courtesy of Redmond Proficiency Academy)
The Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) announced that Thespian Troupe #7715 competed in the annual South Regional Acting Competition on February 2. The troupe won 29 ribbons for excellence in numerous acting categories at Central High School in Independence, Oregon.
“Today was a great day for us,” said RPA theatre director Kate Torcom. “It was so rewarding to see such a wide array of our students get recognized for their hard work. It’s amazing that students from each grade at RPA, from freshmen to senior, will be competing at State in April.”
Awarded 29 ribbons, 22 RPA actors will compete at the state festival. RPA’s Large Group Musical, along with juniors Reilly O’Donnell and Jae Churchill-Dicks (duo musical), senior Nate Viscaino and junior Izzy King (duo dramatic) and freshmen Kendra McGuire and Sarah Gruenberg (duo comedic) all qualified for the State competition in Salem.Riley Newton reflected on her State qualification in solo acting. “I was shocked,” she said. “The validation of doing well means a lot because I haven’t always been confident in my acting. This year was the most confident I felt about my solo.”
“Being a senior and qualifying in all my categories truly left me speechless,” said Viscaino, who also qualified for State with sophomore Grace Sorenson (duo musical). “It proved to me that if you work hard and are passionate about what you do, you will be recognized.”
Beyond the state competitors, RPA also had regional finalists in many categories. Senior Will Anderson, along with juniors Izzy King and Tayah Hester (solo acting), juniors Marli Messner and Reilly O’Donnell (duo comedic) and junior Grace Blanchette and sophomore Grace Sorenson (duo dramatic) all earned finalist ribbons.
McGuire, a freshman who participated in theatre for three years at RPA Middle School said, “The middle school program made me feel prepared to perform and compete at regionals. Sarah (Gruenberg) and I put in a lot of hard work, and it really paid off.”
RPA was the most decorated troupe from Central Oregon at Regionals for the fourth year in a row and has established a reputation as a strong competitor in the Southern Region and throughout the state. RPA also won the Southern Region’s Hygiene drive by collecting 11,290 items of the total 13,653 collections for donation to shelters in Oregon. “It’s inspiring to see the students rally together to collect donations for those in need,” said Torcom. “This department has some serious heart.” This is RPA’s third consecutive year bringing the most donations to the Southern Region. RPA Theatre was awarded priority seating at the State competition for their charity efforts.
The RPA thespians will travel to Salem on April 4-6 to compete in the state competition. “Being a part of the theatre troupe is like a family,” said junior and first-year RPA student Jae Churchill-Dicks. “I couldn’t be happier.”