Hockinson High School Theater brings home top festival award

HHS Theater scores “superior” in four out of five categories at state thespian festival   

HOCKINSON — Some 67 schools and 1,600 students from across the state of Washington attended the State Thespian Festival St. Patrick’s Day weekend, but only a handful brought home the prize.

Hockinson High School Theater’s cast of “Rumors” stands outfront of Central Washington University’s Student Union Building at the 2019 Washington State Thespian Festival. Photo courtesy of Hockinson High School Theater Co.
Hockinson High School Theater’s cast of “Rumors” stands outfront of Central Washington University’s Student Union Building at the 2019 Washington State Thespian Festival. Photo courtesy of Hockinson High School Theater Co.

Hockinson High School, (HHS), Theater Co. was one such group; winning the Excellence in Performance award for their performance of the first act of “Rumors” by Neil Simon.

“My face hurt from smiling so much, as I was sitting there watching them,” said Theater Teacher and Director Greg Saum. “With every laugh they got; every laugh that landed, it was great. There were definitely things we need to work on, which was wonderful feedback to get from those judges.”   

“Rumors” features several couples at a dinner party where things, as they must, go horribly, and hilariously awry. Through trickery, lies and many good jokes, the cast weaves together a story built on rumors.

During the festival, two of the HHS actors were actually ill with the flu, but marched on with passion, said Saum. With only three weeks of rehearsal under their belts, the 10-member cast had nearly the entire script perfectly memorized, he said.

They played to a packed house, with standing room only; the first packed audience HHS Theater has ever seen. To top it off, this was HHS’s first year ever performing at the festival.

The Thespian Festival features workshops with professional actors and actresses, as well as directors. Performances are also spread throughout the weekend, with only  a few schools winning awards, and one winning the top place trophy.

“It’s not about awards, it’s not about trophies,” Saum said. “It’s really about building those lifetime memories. That’s what’s going to last for them. To me, that’s what it’s all about.”

“Rumors” will debut in Hockinson on May 9 and 10 at 7 p.m. and run again on May 11 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Hockinson High School. For more information, stop by the HHS Theater Co. Facebook Page.      

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About The Author

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College, where he studied media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and in Argentina. His passions range from loving people, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife in Vancouver, WA.

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