February 20, 2013 - Olivia Shumaker
From left, Maggie Pote and Alanah Harper-Brecht have received state honors. They are the first Lake Orionites to join the International State Thespian Board. Photo by O. Shumaker (click for larger version)
Review Staff Writer
Lake Orion's Dragon Thespians have been busy this year, and now they have a few more honors to add to their collection.
Thespians Alanah Harper-Brecht, a senior, Claire McIntyre, a junior, and Maggie Pote, a sophomore, all became Lake Orion's first members of the International Thespians State Board. Pote, in even greater acclaim, became one of the board's three officers earlier this month.
Since the election in early February, Pote has served as the student board's secretary, alongside the president and vice president.
To be elected, she was first nominated by her peers on the board at their November meeting shortly before Thespian Festival. She had to be a fully fledged member of the board to be nominated, which meant she had to be one of the five Thespians that Lake Orion Thespian director Leann Lowe chose as representatives, and she had to attend at least two meetings, Thespian Festival at Saginaw Valley, and a leadership conference right before Festival.
Harper-Brecht, McIntyre, and Pote are the first official board members Lake Orion has ever had as representatives. Pote is the first Lake Orion Thespian to become an officer.
"We haven't been considered part of the state board until this year, and then to have one of our actual students from Lake Orion represent us in the way Maggie is going to is a really big deal," Harper-Brecht said.
As secretary, Pote serves a role similar to a historian for the board. She takes meeting attendance, keeps record of meetings, creates schedules and makes sure that everyone present is either on state board or working toward being part of state board. Meetings occur once a month at high schools all over the state, and officers meet a few times prior to full board meetings.
The Thespian state board is responsible for running Thespian Festival each year and creating and managing rules and regulations for all Michigan Thespians. Board members also work in tandem with the adult Thespian board to improve the Festival. They will serve as representatives for the state of Michigan at the national Thespian conference later in the year.
Taking on the responsibility of membership requires students to be an inducted Thespian at their own school, which for Lake Orion means that participants have to acquire 15 points—the equivalent of 150 hours working backstage, performing in shows, raising money and attending Thespian meetings. For this reason, board membership can bring a performing arts program, and its students, hard-earned respect.
"My goals as an officer are to help Lake Orion get more recognition as a school with a performing arts program, to make Thespians more of a known thing—so people know its not just a drama club, it's Thespian Society—and to bring the arts into more schools," Pote said.
In Lake Orion, the Thespians are in the process of bringing together their spring musical, Wonderful Town, which will show April 25 through the 27. As with all performances, the community is encouraged to attend.
Meanwhile, Harper-Brecht, McIntyre, and Pote will continue as members of the state board, proudly representing Lake Orion High School.
"It's a great experience, and I'm very honored to be a part of it," Pote said.