Belleville West Goes to the Illinois High School Theatre Festival


Aida: The All-State Theatre Production

Paige Goodrich, Entertainment Reporter

On the weekend of January 9th-11th, a group of Belleville West students and teachers got the opportunity to participate in Theatre Festival and to see Aida, the All-State Theatre Production that featured Belleville West’s own, Delaney Holliday. 

“My experience with the Theatre Festival was absolutely amazing. It was a lot of fun, very jam-packed with a lot of different things that were new experiences for me. But, overall, it was a great opportunity,” senior Maxwell Juhas said.

When entering strange territory, it is hard not to predict its contents. However, it is also better to keep an open mind about the things to come.

“To be honest, I thought it was going to be a lot more acting-based. I didn’t realize that there was that much technical work involved in the productions and also the amount of detail necessary in directing,” senior Jayden Touchette said.

The Theatre Festival featured many “classes” that were specified to every aspect of the production world. 

“Kids like Maxwell Juhas and Jayden Touchette said they got a lot out of the dramaturgy session that emphasized the importance behind researching. Alex Johnson led a team through a fun performance of an improv musical. Jojo Holm auditioned for and made the All-State Improv Team, which performed that evening twice,” Mr.Johnson said.

Although, as one of the main performances of the festival, Aida definitely affected hearts all across Illinois. 

“Aida was better than any theatre performance that I have ever seen at the high school level. Delaney is someone who is so successful because she works so hard. When people put effort into their work you can see that and you can feel that, and that’s exactly the impact Delaney had,” Ms.Guebert said.

After the long weekend, many students reflected on their experiences and the small details that added to it.

“Participating in the Theatre Festival has definitely pushed my passion for theatre even further. Everything was so high-energy and with that type of environment, it was hard to not be happy. I’m glad that I got the chance to go and that I was able to show my support for my fellow classmates,” junior Andrew Laminack said.

For being the first time that Belleville West has attended the Theatre Festival, it sure left a lasting impact.

“I think it’s important for students to go to events such as the Theatre Festival because, especially at West, we have such a great theatre program, but we don’t go out and interact with other theatre programs in order to see our full potential and be able to implement new skills in our own performances,” senior Delaney Holliday said.