On Dec. 1 through 3, 2016, Prestonwood Christian Academy’s (PCA) International Thespian Society Troupe #6605 attended the Texas Thespian State Festival at the Dallas Convention Center where they received the equivalent of “State Championships” in two events. PCA’s thespians represented the only school from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to receive an invitation to perform on the main stage.
More than 7,000 students from across the state of Texas attended the festival, and there were 1,500 competitive entries primarily from large 5A and 6A public schools as well as private schools. Out of the 1,500 entries, just 36 performances were called back for the final round. From those 36, judges then selected the top seven performance events to appear on the state main stage, and Prestonwood Christian Academy had two of those seven events selected.
“I am so proud of our ITS students for all of their success this year,” said Joel Rutherford, PCA’s Fine Arts Director. “I’m impressed with their hard work, commitment and creativity. It’s always beautiful to see our students take light into a dark place, represent Christ and PCA so well, and then compete and achieve at the highest levels, too!”
PCA’s two selected events were Monologue performed by sophomore Mollie-Claire Matthews and Group Musical performed by senior Zach Albracht, sophomore Lauren Bridgeman, sophomore Matthew Buttry, junior Timothy Crisp, freshman Hunter Hall, sophomore Hope Hellberg, sophomore Julia Letcher, senior Paige Price, junior Avery Rudd, senior Tanner Scheef, freshman Samantha Seal, freshman Isabelle Simpson, senior Sabrina Simpson, freshman Leighton Strawbridge and senior Eric Weiss.
In addition to the students who appeared on the main stage, PCA’s group acting event performed by freshmen Gaby Goonetilleke, Heather Gray, and Anna Murray will advance to the National Competition at the University of Nebraska in June.
Prestonwood’s dominance in theatre competition can be attributed to the school’s feeder program as most of the school’s Upper School students began acting when they were in Middle School. PCA’s Middle School Jr. ITS troupe took 24 students to this year’s Texas State Thespian Festival entering four events: Group Musical, Solo Musical, Group Acting and Monologue. The handful of Middle School students competed in the 1,500 events primarily comprised of high school thespians. Of the four events that PCA’s Middle School students entered, two qualified for the National Competition in Nebraska next summer including Elly Porter in Solo Musical and Group Musical made up of Molly Anderson, Macy Bridgeman, Hannah Crouse, Mia Dorsett, Mary Kate Dugan, Kylie Lamm, Kate McCrary, Audrey Meece, Ella Moore, Ashley Pelham, Grace Rutherford, Gracie Smith, Chloe Sparks, Emma Stephens, Riley Waddell and Kambell Wrona.
Prestonwood Christian Academy has an award-winning and nationally-recognized theatre program that strives to provide Middle and Upper school students with a creative and multidisciplinary art form. PCA’s Theatre Department recently produced Peter and the Starcatcher in November, and is currently casting for their spring musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which will be performed at the Eisemann Center on April 5-8, 2017.
Prestonwood Christian Academy is celebrating its 20th school year serving more than 1,600 students enrolled at three campuses: Plano (Pre-Kindergarten 3 through 12th grade), PCA North in Prosper (Pre-Kindergarten 3 through 7th grade) and PCAplus Virtual Academy. The school has been recognized as having one of the strongest Christian education programs in the country providing intentional biblical worldview training and integration. PCA places great value on the growth of students’ spiritual health in addition to their scholastic endeavors and co-curricular activities. In addition to PCA’s spiritual development plan, the school promotes a rigorous Liberal Arts academic program. The graduating class of 2016 was offered more than $15 million in scholarship for academics, arts and athletics from universities and other institutions of higher learning. PCA is currently accepting applications for the 2017-18 school year. Interested families are invited to a PCA Breakfast Preview on Jan. 20, at 8:30 a.m. in the Leadership Center, 6801 W. Park Blvd., Plano 75093. Online reservations can be made at www.prestonwoodchristian.org/admissions. Families may also call 972.930.4010 to schedule a Thursday tour.