Saratoga and Los Gatos high school thespians joined 1,100 other students from more than 70 campuses March 23-25 in the California State Thespian Festival in Upland.
The event featured numerous student performances and a variety of workshops led by theatre professionals, auditions for scholarships and a chance to talk with college representatives.
This year, 30 Saratoga and 10 Los Gatos high school students attended the festival, according to officials.
Saratoga High School students, accompanied and led by Cathie Thermond, won a record number of accolades.
Gabby Crolla, Maddie Emery and Josh Harris won first place in the group musical, Annelise Nussbacher won first place in costume design, Stephen Jensen won first in sound design, and Shayda Roohparvar won second in set design.
Their improv team of Clayton Brown, Josh Harris and Ehrland Hollingsworth took first place.
In addition, Katie Burns and DJ Traina were recognized as best scenic crew members and Stephen Jensen as best assistant stage manager.
Duet acting teams of Penny Burgess and Ariella Yendler and Clayton Brown and Ehrland Hollingsworth also received call backs for their performances and Maddie Emery received a call‐back for solo musical, ranking all of them in the top 10 percent of the competitors for their events.
This was the first time attended this festival and students competed in solo musical, monologue, duo scene, group improv, and group acting categories, earning many “superior” ratings from the judges.
LGHS juniors Rachel Staab and Salvador Gurrola participated in the festival’s opening dance number. Rachel also performed as a featured vocalist in the All State Show.
LGHS Troupe advisor/drama teacher Anne Martyn was presented with a special Congressional recognition signed by Congressman Mike Honda for outstanding and invaluable service to the community.
District Superintendent Bob Mistele said: “It’s exciting to see students passionate about and excelling in this arena. We have strong community involvement and support, an incredible staff, and talented students that work together to make this possible. The Board [of Trustees] and I congratulate everyone involved and look forward to many more performances and opportunities for our students to shine!”