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PVHS Thespians navigate new normal

27J Schools offers many extracurricular opportunities for students. Whether it be singing, acting, leadership, or academically-focused clubs, all serve as an outlet for students to express themselves. 

The Thespian Troupe at Prairie View High School (PVHS) performs plays and small one-act shows, provides educational trips focused on  theater, organizes community-service events and raises funds for equipment and to compete at state and national theater competitions. 

When schools closed in March, the thespians at PVHS found themselves trying to navigate their new normal.  

“Thespian is a word that has become deeply enrooted in my being. It is the ability to be someone you are not and be a part of a family where you get to create new realities,” said junior, Jayde Cummings. 

After three months, the troupe decided it was time to hold an awards ceremony, conduct officer interviews and officer meetings in preparation for the 2020-21 school-year. 

Currently, the thespians have various ongoing projects. They have scheduled in-person inductions in October for their “big and littles,” a program designed to pair newcomers with experienced thespians to receive mentorship and feel welcomed into the troupe. The troupe paired off bigs and littles by cohort to ensure safety.    

The troupe is actively looking into alternative ways to continue performing during this time.  They are considering having members perform longer one-act performances that can be recorded with students in the same cohort. They will then make the shows available for families to enjoy. This presents a unique learning opportunity for students to participate in various roles such as lighting, sound, set building, and acting since only the people in that cohort will be able to put the performance together.  

Other projects the group is working on include sending out letters of appreciation for front line workers, from the pandemic, and planning a supply drive for the Adams County Animal Shelter. 

Before COVID and school closures, the group had just purchased a shipping container with donation and fundraising money. This container will eventually be painted with the motto, “Breathe in Courage, Breathe out Fear.” The container will be used to store furniture and larger props, freeing up a closet and the current costume shop. This space will now become a creative shop serving different show purposes such as set creation and a second women’s dressing room. 

“The pandemic has really helped me grow as a leader and taught me how to adapt more quickly to change, think creatively, and communicate through technology more efficiently,” says senior president of the troupe, Tessa Davis.

We are #27JProud of the PVHS Thespian Troupe for finding innovative ways to continue pursuing their passion while being active members of their community.