group of Mount Thespians at State Festival

Twelve members of the MSM Thespian Troupe recently traveled to Jonesboro for the 2024 Arkansas Thespian Festival, held February 8-10. The students participated in interactive workshops, competed in a variety of theatrical performance and technical theatre challenges, and networked with other theatre students and teachers from across the state. The event also included opportunities to audition for college scholarships as well as earn bids to this summer’s International Thespian Festival at Indiana University in Bloomington.

MSM Troupe 8462 received several honors for their talent and achievement in theatre during the event, including two Best in Show awards. Maya Johnson ’25 won for Solo Musical and the MSM team directed by Maya and Isabella Nguyen ’25 won for Group Musical. Both performances were showcased in front of a crowd of approximately 1,700 people.

“Judges at the festival select Best in Show for each event out of all the entries in the state,” explained Jenny Moses, MSM theatre and forensics instructor and Arts Department chair. “This is the equivalent of a state championship as it is the best of the best after multiple rounds of competition and is the highest honor in theatre competition.”

In addition to the Best in Show awards, Maya, Isabella, and Taylor Moore ’24 all earned Superior ratings for their Solo Musical performances, as did the MSM team directed by Maya and Isabella in the Group Musical category. The achievement qualified them to compete for a coveted National Thespy award at the International Thespian Festival June 18-23. Three additional students received Excellent ratings at the event: Lizzy Darnold ’24 in Solo Musical, and Bri Boggs ’24 and Annabelle Owen ’25 in Duet Acting. Lizzy, Emily Heck ’25, Jordyn Lane ’26, and Valeria Mares ’26 placed 1st in the Group Hair and Makeup category.

The group celebrated a couple other accomplishments during the three-day event. Lizzy was recognized as a 2024 Honor Thespian. Additionally, Lizzy, Maya, and Isabella all received college scholarship offers totaling nearly $200,000.

Troupe members participating in the Group Musical performance included: Bella Angtuaco ’25, Bri, Caroline Cash ’25, Lizzy, Maya, Jordyn, Valeria, Taylor, Isabella, Annabelle, and Harper Peairson ’27.

“I’m so proud of the ways our students performed, but more how they carried themselves at the event to represent Mount St. Mary Academy,” Ms. Moses said. “They all deserve a shoutout if you see them!”

Congratulations to the talented MSM Thespians on a great weekend in Jonesboro and a fabulous season overall!