If you’ve been to downtown Denver in mid-summer, you might have encountered creatures from a different planet…known locally as FAN EXPO but known nationally as Comic Con. That one weekend a year when sci-fi enthusiasts convene to embody their favorite character, meet celebrities and delve into all things comic-sci-fi-horror-anime-gaming.
Fast forward six months and you might stumble upon another convention — ThesCon — a slightly different opportunity for middle and high school students across the state to explore workshop offerings, meet actors and theatre professionals, engage with college programs, audition for main stage performances and scholarships and delve into all things theatre-drama-plays-musicals.
In December, the Colorado Thespians held the state’s 59th ThesCon at the Colorado Convention Center. More than 5,500 students from Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico gathered for performances, workshops, panel discussions and competitions.
Unsurprisingly, DCPA Education played an integral part in the 2023 event. Continuing a long-standing partnership, the full team led 14 workshops ranging from the Choreography Styles of & Juliet to stage combat and improv to movement. Additionally, the Community Engagement team hosted five behind-the-scenes tours of DCPA studios and production facilities while other teaching artists participated in adjudication of student performances.
New to the DCPA’s participation, was a performance of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot in the Bellco Theatre. The cast and crew offered an abridged version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the Middle School Opening Ceremony. Also, as a special treat, a few Queens from the national tour of SIX participated in six panel discussions with the star-struck teens.
Through their efforts, the Colorado Thespians lived up to their mission — to promote and strengthen theatre arts in education through theatrical experiences that provide creative enrichment for students and teachers.