Douglas thespians prepare for international festival |

Douglas thespians prepare for international festival

Staff Reports

There was quite the energetic cheering section at Green Valley High School when three Douglas County students were recognized at the State Thespian Competition.

Braeden Garrett, Kaitlyn Barrett, and Taylor Gray received superior ratings on their performances, and were invited to showcase their skills at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Neb., in late June.

When asked how it felt to compete, Braeden Garrett, 17, a junior at Silver State Charter School, explained that he was pretty nervous but in the end it was, “all completely worth it.” The judges must have agreed, awarding him with superior ratings for both events he performed in: solo musical and monologues. It is now up to Braeden to choose between his events, as he can only present one at the competition in Nebraska. While his decision is bittersweet, he is still thrilled for the experience and thrilled to “make new friends and see old ones.” His family and theater Troupe Director are extremely proud of him and support him in his choice and his talents.

Kaitlyn Barrett, 17, a senior at Douglas High School, also qualified for solo musical and is a seasoned performer. She has been singing since, “before (she) could walk and started musical theater and acting in the third grade.” However, her experience did not rid her of anxiety before she started presenting in front of the judges.

“I was terrified of getting brutal judges,” Kaitlyn explained.

Her fear was unnecessary, since the judges adored her routine. One judge was so impressed, he gave her a perfect score of straight tens. Kaitlyn now eagerly awaits the competition, remembering her experience last year at the International Festival, and cannot quite decide what she is most excited for.

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“Everything from the shows to the dances to the workshops are so amazing, but I guess I would have to say that (I am most excited) to spend six days with a bunch of amazing theater ‘geeks’. It’s like a theater kids’ Disneyland.”

Another Douglas High School student, Taylor Gray, 18, will be traveling with her fellow thespians. She explained that she was shaking her leg uncontrollably in her chair as she waited for her name to be called so she could perform.

“I have never competed in an acting competition, but I did Speech and Debate in the ninth and tenth grade. That was simply for fun, though.”

Until her junior year, Taylor never thought seriously about acting. When asked what it was like to know she was going to be performing at an International Festival for acting she said, “I was humbled. I always saw my brother as the actor of the family and to know that I would be traveling to show people what I’ve been working on was truly overwhelming.”

Her family was in high spirits on their drive home from Las Vegas and is still proud today.

In preparation for the competition, the Douglas High School students will be holding fundraisers in the upcoming months to pay for their trip.

For more information, contact Amy Sando, DHS troupe director, at or call her office at 392-1543.

Taylor Gray can be contacted at or 775-790-5320.

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