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It's all an act

Lake Orion Thespians earn scholarships, high honors

December 15, 2010 - Members of Lake Orion High School Thespian Troupe 2898 brushed up on everything from stage combat to makeup and college auditions earlier this month when they attended the annual Michigan Thespian Festival, held on the campus of Michigan State University.

In addition to over 40 workshops offered at the event, the 21 LOHS students who attended also had the opportunity to compete for honors and awards.

They didn't come away empty-handed.

"This has been an amazing year for us," said Leann Lowe, LOHS teacher and theater director. "The senior class has single-handedly changed the expectations of the thespian troupe."

Lowe listed some of the accolades brought home by her students: Senior Jordan Reynolds scored in the top of the state in Solo Musical Theater. Senior Jonathan D'Ambrosio also scored in the top of the state with one short film, and received a "superior" rating for another.

"This is an incredibly talented and dedicated group of students," Lowe said, noting the troupe did a student-directed summer show for the second consecutive year, and added a student-run musical cabaret scheduled for early January.

"It's tough to keep up with them," she said. "What energy and drive they have."

The troupe is also running a playwrighting competition and will produce and perform the winning play at Senior Showcase in May.

At the MSU event, seniors Karen Graves and Tahra Gribbin received top honors in Dramatic Duo, while Juniors Alexis Attinoto and Theo Zucker scored "superior" in Musical Theater Duet, and Tristan Shaughnesey Mogil, a freshman, along with partner Alison Workman, a senior, received a "superior" in dramatic duel.

Workman and Gribbin also competed for scholarships and were both awarded total offers over $40,000 each from a number of Michigan schools.

Gribbin received an offer from Alma College for $5,500, while Siena Heights put $8,000 on the table and U of D Mercy attached $16,000 in scholarship funds to the bait hook.

Like Gribbin, Workman was also offered $5,500 from Alma College. In addition, she received a $16,000 enticement from Michigan Tech and $16,000 from Siena Heights.

It's the first time Lake Orion students have been awarded, said Lowe, noting 36 troupes - a total of 635 students - attended the MSU event.

The Lake Orion Thespian Society is one of many Michigan high school chapters of the International Thespian Society, which encourages students to hone skills in every aspect of theater by producing their own shows, start to finish.

Check them out: Winter Cabaret, presented by Lake Orion Thespian Society 2898 and directed by Alison Workman and Tahra Gribbin, is a compilation of about a dozen songs - ranging from Vaudeville to today's modern musicals - from famous Broadway productions.

The show takes place Thursday, January 6 at 7 p.m. in the LOHS auditorium. Admission is free, but all donations help support the Thespian Society.

Lake Orion Review Editor
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