Thespian Society to Perform at Community Pavilion

dance
Members of the Thespian Society dance and sing as they perform in Cabaret. Photo by Melissa Sparks.

By Sue Moore

Friends and family is the musical theme of a lively show by a group of Vicksburg High School drama and musical performers in “It’s a Cabaret: Friends and Family Night”. It will take place at the Community Pavilion on July 11, opening at 6:30 p.m. with the show at 7 p.m.

“The public will love this fast-paced dinner-theatre type of show,” said Melissa Sparks, theater director for Vicksburg Community Schools. It includes dinner as well as the show, with tickets $10 and available that night. Walk-ins are welcome, she said.

Singers and dancers, from the high school’s International Thespian Society, Troupe 8147 will perform musical theater songs. In addition, Vicksburg theater alumni will perform and announce scenes and songs from next year’s lineup for school theater productions, Sparks said. “It provides the audience a chance to see what our alums are doing now.

And our current students get an opportunity to see how these songs and scenes could be performed. The current Thespian students sing musical theater songs from other shows, all under the theme of friends and family,” Sparks commented.

Since there are no drama classes at Vicksburg High School, Sparks wanted an opportunity for more educational enrichment for her theater students outside of school time. “This was the best solution,” she said. “Since our inception, these students have had master class workshops with Broadway stars, recording artists, world-class musical directors, and Vicksburg theater alumni. We’ve taken trips for additional enrichment, including to Chicago.”

They just returned from a trip to the Stratford Festival in Canada, where they attended performances and workshops with their exceptional performing artists. “For ‘It’s a Cabaret’, we rehearse during the summer and this is our summer fundraiser.” However, during the school year the Thespian Society meets for other purposes: fundraising, service projects, education and outreach.

This troupe also provides service to Vicksburg Theatre and the Vicksburg Arts Community. It organizes props and costume storage, creates and provides fundraising for the theater program and assists in various performances at the Performing Arts Center, including mentoring the 4-8th grade fall musical. Membership invitations are extended based on hard work in the program and earning points. The troupe was formed in 2012 by Sparks as an honor society for high school and middle school theater students. There are over 2.3 million high school students in the International Thespian Society.

Seating at the pavilion will be on picnic tables and people are welcome to bring their own chairs if that would be more comfortable for the 1 1/2-hour show, Sparks said. The food is made and provided by members of the local International Thespian Society. This summer’s show will be barbecue style, with pulled pork, hot dogs, cold salads, fruit, dessert, lemonade and iced tea. The fundraising is for Vicksburg Community Schools’ theater program.

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