Parkrose High Thespians induct new members, present awards

The program was both delightful and moving – for several reasons.
Read this, and see why …

Members of the Parkrose High School Thespian Troupe 1783 perform “Reality Check I”.

Story and (some) photos by David F. Ashton
As the lights dimmed, the background music faded, and the curtain at the Parkrose High School Theater rose, the applause was for the student actors of Parkrose High School Thespian Troupe 1783 themselves, not for the roles they were about to play.

To start off the evening, the cast of “Reality Check I” – a show that uses humorous skits to demonstrate good behavior, performed at Parkrose’s Sacramento, Shaver, and Russell Elementary schools this spring – presented their show. Although written with young kids in mind, the humor held up for the largely adult audience.

Derek Herman entertains with a moving solo performance. Patrick Smith Photography

Incoming troupe president Tom Crawford performs his solo “reading” – it wasn’t read; it was well-acted. Patrick Smith Photography

This hilarious musical theatre piece from “Spamalot” was deftly performed by Jacquelle Davis & Steven Ennis. Patrick Smith Photography

Induction and awards ceremony
Members of the troupe were invited onto the stage. When seated, they donned the ceremonial cap.

Intermingled with the telling of the thespian tradition, student actors performed moving readings, a duo guitar piece by Jason McGhee & Jacob Pratt, and a never-to-be forgotten (it was that good) adagio dance number.

Yes, your reporter was privileged to wear the ceremonial cap – light the candle – take the pledge, and become an honorary member of the troupe. Patrick Smith Photography

In addition to the official induction ceremony, presentation of awards, honor stoles, and graduating senior awards, both Parkrose High School band teacher Michael Tolon and David Ashton, editor of East Portland News, were made honorary members of Thespian Troop number 1783.

Introducing the incoming officers: (back row) Tom Crawford, President, Junior; Brian Fitzgerald, Vice President, Junior; Heather Grassel, Historian, Sophomore; (lower level) Mackenzie Billick-Smith, Secretary, Sophomore; Kiely Simmons, Oregon State Board Member, Junior; Ciera Willis, Clerk, Junior; Derek Herman, Historian, Junior. Of course, when school starts this fall, they’ll be in the next grade!

After the ceremony, the actors, their family and friends retired for a reception fit for a Hollywood actor. Patrick Smith Photography

My special thanks to Patrick Smith for the photos – we were a bit occupied during the ceremony!

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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