• Grace Roby

"Do you love me?" Audiences say yes

Juniors Dominic Fleshman and Madisyn Warren thrilled their audiences during “Fiddler on the Roof” with their performance of “Do You Love Me”. Next they took their duet to the state Thespian Conference where they were awarded a superior rating. This rating sent the two to Lincoln, Nebraska last June where they had the honor of attending the International Thespian Festival.

Fleshman and Warren traveled to Nebraska on a bus filled with other Ohio thespians also going to the festival. This trip took them 13 hours.

The long bus ride and the five day festival provided an amazing opportunity for Fleshman and Warren to meet other theater enthusiasts. “I made a lot of great friends there and met a lot of people who are as passionate about theater as I am,” Fleshman said. He became especially close with many of the kids from Centerville, a talented performing arts school.

Warren said, “I got to be surrounded by people who love what they do as much as I do, and for a week we all got to play games and do workshops and even just hangout.”

Upon their arrival in Nebraska the two were treated to “a week of workshops from professionals in the theater realm,” Fleshman said. Warren attended many workshops including: Acting on Film, How to Improve Your Competition Performance, Voiceover, Puppetry, and How to Write a Musical Libretto. Fleshman also attended the Puppetry workshop; a lady trained in doing Muppets ran this workshop.

Warren (left) and Fleshman (right) pose for the camera, along with another student, at the International Thespian Festival

Fleshman also attended the How to Improve Your Competition Performance with Warren. “(It) was really beneficial to helping with our competition, and helping us prepare,” Fleshman said.

At the end of their week at the festival, Fleshman and Warren performed “Do You Love Me” as their completion piece. The groups were divided into various theaters based on their category; Fleshman and Warren went with the duet musical performances. Once separated the groups took turns performing in front of the four judges.

“Competing was nerve-wracking, but it provided such a learning experience and it helped both Dominic and I to gain perspective on out performance,” Warren said. The two received their results, scores and tips on how to improve their performance, several days later. Warren says Dominic and she plan to take this advice and use it to better their performance next time, as they hope to return to the festival in coming years.

Warren said, “The International Thespian Festival was one of the greatest experiences of my life.” She and Fleshman were fortunate enough “to see many different shows by so many great schools with exceptionally talented people,” as Warren said.

Audiences have fallen in love with Fleshman and Warren’s performances, and look forward to seeing all that they’ve learned at the festival during the upcoming spring musical.

The stage on which the students performed.

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