University hosts Wisconsin Interscholastic Theatre Festival


Students from Wisconsin high schools perform their productions in Young Auditorium at the annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Theatre Festival Nov. 17-19.

Sarah Smith, Assistant Arts & Rec Editor

With over 40 surrounding high schools attending over the course of the weekend, high school students from all around Wisconsin who are involved in their respective theater programs attended the UW-Whitewater’s annual theatre festival for workshops, productions, performances, showcases and one-acts. College of Arts & Communication faculty, staff and students coordinated the big event in the Greenhill Center of the Arts Nov 17-19. 

The festival allowed students to display their talents and the shows that they have spent hours working to perfect. They learned new techniques, observed a variety of productions and saw the many talents of other students from across the state who share the same passion for the arts.

“It’s primarily a celebration of their work that they have been working on and they present their work here,” production manager and technical director Ruth Conrad-Proulx said. “There are these one-act plays that they have already produced in their schools, and they present them here. There is a competitive nature to it and then there are two fully staged shows that are being presented in the Young Auditorium. High schoolers come and experience our campus and what we have to offer as a university and as a department.”

This festival not only provides opportunities for high school students from across the state, but it also allows UW-Whitewater students involved in the arts to run a festival in the technical way as well as provide a friendly and welcoming environment that runs smoothly for hundreds of guests. Students can also display their pride for the departments at UW-W that they work to improve every day.

While UW-W students help run the festival, high schools present many of the productions that they have worked on including well known one-acts such as Julius Caesar and The Three Musketeers. Whitewater High School recently showcased its own production of Beauty and the Beast, the well known tale of a beast capturing the heart of a woman seeking love. 

Department Chair of Theatre and Dance Eric Appleton helped behind the scenes of the festival.

“As the Theatre/Dance Department chair, I work closely with the Wisconsin Interscholastic Theatre Festival organizers, as well as the faculty, staff and students in our department, Young Auditorium and college to reserve rooms, staff all events with volunteers, make sure all spaces are ready for the various events, coordinate with parking services, campus police and dining services, and welcome the hundreds of high school students from across the state who will attend the festival,” Appleton said.