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Hard work leads to big crowd for high school thespians

Legacy High takes Fall production ‘Harvey’ to Denver for encore show


Legacy High School’s Drama Director Karen Stacks said her students know the material from their fall play well.

They should, since they performed “Harvey” several times in October.

But what’s going to take some getting used to is performing for a very large crowd — somewhere around ten times the size of audience they are used to seeing.

“The biggest crowds these kids have ever performed for, we have 500 or 600 people in the audience,” Stacks said. “But the Bellco has room for 5,000 people and that’s a big difference.”

Legacy’s production of “Harvey” has been selected as one of two Main Stage shows for the Colorado State Thespian Conference Dec. 7-9 at Denver’s Bellco Theater.

“They are excited but kind of daunted at the same time,” Stacks said. “When we think about how cool it is, it’s exciting and fun. But when we start thinking about those 5,000 people, we’re like ‘Wow, 5,000 people in the audience. My goodness!’”

The Denver School for the Arts will perform “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” on the Bellco Theater’s Main Stage at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 7.

Legacy’s thespians will perform their production of “Harvey” on theater’s Main Stage at 8 p.m. Dec. 8.

“We performed it back in October and they came in and judged it back then,” she said. “Then, we’ve had a month off waiting to see if we’d be chosen. Now that we have, we’ve had two weeks to pull it all back together.”

Most seats are reserved for people attending and associated with the conference, but Stacks said public seats are available for $50. She suggested anyone interested contact the Colorado Thespians group at 303-322-9387.

The conference brings together nearly 5,000 theater students from high schools in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico for three days of workshops on stage craft, including acting, singing, dancing, directing and technical theater.

Stacks said her students have attended the conference but this is this first time they’ve been picked to perform at it.

She said 24 high schools applied to have their fall productions included in the conference. Judges attended a performance, grading every aspect of the production.

“They have quite an interesting rubric that they go by,” Stacks said. “They are judging staging, characterization costumes, lighting plots, sound design — really all aspects of theater. That includes comedic timing and the overall design of the show. So, it’s pretty detailed. It’s whether they just liked it or not.”

The grades were compared and the two highest rated shows were invited.

The play tells the story of Elwood Dowd and the misunderstandings surrounding his best friend, a six-foot-tall imaginary rabbit. It was well received locally, she said.

Stacks said now, she’s telling her students relax and just have fun.

“The hard work has already been done,” she said. “That’s what got them here and what is being recognized, the good job they did with the show. Now, they need to enjoy the moment, just enjoy the ride.”


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