Return to Headlines

Wells APAC Theatre Scholars to Represent Miss. at International Thespian Festival

March 27, 2024 - Twenty-five Wells APAC Theatre scholars will represent Mississippi at the International Thespian Festival June 23-28, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana.

The Thespian Troupe 4909 has been selected as one of the top high school productions in the nation, earning an invitation to perform at the showcase featuring each state's best of the best with representation from around the world.

Wells APAC Theatre recently participated in the Mississippi Thespian Convention held at the Historic Riley Center in Meridian, where they faced stiff competition from talented peers across the state. Among notable participants, such as Pearl, Northwest Rankin, Saint Andrews, Madison-Ridgeland Academy, Madison Central and Jackson Academy, Wells APAC Theatre Jackson stood out for its exceptional show.

Their outstanding production of "Property Rites," by Alan Haehnel caught the attention of judges, leading to their selection to represent Mississippi as Chapter Select at the prestigious International Thespian Festival. This honor, bestowed upon only one show each year, marks a triumphant return for Wells APAC Theatre, with the last representation occurring in 2019.

"Property Rites" delves into themes of autonomy, following the narrative of an art curator and his AI art piece. Over the course of months, twenty high school scholars from Wells APAC Theatre invested their time and energy into effectively portraying this story. Co-directors Mrs. Malaika Quarterman and Mr. Madison Upendo provided diligent coaching, development, and support to the thespians, enabling them to achieve this remarkable feat.

The International Thespian Festival, a week-long celebration of theatre excellence, offers top-notch training with industry professionals, showcases student productions of Broadway quality, and provides a platform for students to demonstrate their skills in front of college professors seeking promising young talent for their programs.

This achievement holds great significance for Jackson Public Schools, as it reflects a legacy deeply ingrained in every aspect of the production. The show prominently showcases senior students who have been integral to the APAC program since fourth grade, with one of the directors, Upendo, being an esteemed JPS Callaway High School Alumnus (2011). Furthermore, the invaluable contribution of Mr. Jaime Jones, Choir Director at Callaway High School, and the Callaway Male Choir cannot be overstated, as they provided support tracks for several scenes.

Scholars have spent several months investing time and energy into portraying this story. Now, they’re fundraising to cover all travel and expenses to Indiana University. Each team member needs $1000 to attend the week-long theatre festival. 

Congratulations! Click here to support the Thespian Troupe 4909