Nolan Orth: a Theatre Fest enthusiast


Q: How many years have you attended Theatre Fest?

A: Four years.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Theatre Fest?

A: My favorite thing about Theatre Fest is usually the All-State production, which is a collaborative show run by directors and actors all throughout Illinois. It tends to be very well done.

Q: If you could choose one thing to improve about Theatre fest, what would it be?

A: One thing that is a pain about Theatre Fest is being able to acquire tickets to the shows being performed throughout the day. It’s usually hard to obtain the tickets you want and most of the time you have to settle for a show that you didn’t really want to see. It works out most of the time though and still tends to be a good experience.

Q: Why do you look forward to the fest?

A: I always look forward to the fest because unless you get lost while wandering around the campus, there isn’t a single bad moment throughout the whole trip. Even the bus rides or seeing a bad show can be enjoyable because of the people around you.

Q: What kind of activities/events take place at the fest?

A: There are always a couple main events that take place at the fest and those are the opening ceremony and the All-State production. Otherwise, the fest’s schedule is scattered with tons of workshops which can be anything from interpretive dance to stage combat. Apart from the workshops there are also shows, brought down from other high schools, which you can go see throughout the day.

Q: How many people usually attend the fest?

A: The amount of people that attend the fest tends to be pretty consistent. However many people can fit into the auditorium at the opening ceremony, that’s how many people are at the fest.

Q: Do you have any memories that stand out to you from your experiences that you can share?

A: All of the All-State productions are things that stick out to me, but there is one memory from my freshman year that really stands out. During every fest there is always something called the All-Fest Improv show which happens Saturday night. During the morning, people attending the fest can audition to be a part of the show. If you make the show, you get to be on stage and perform in front of your peers . . . The theater the improv show was held in was the same theater in which the opening ceremony was held. Not only was it an amazing theater, it could also fit a lot of people. That night, I witnessed some of the best improv I had every seen and considering that all of the performers were high schools students — that made it even more impressive. That show inspired me to pursue improv and I don’t get more nervous about anything than doing improv. The show was so good, they got a standing ovation from everyone in the theater. After the show was over, there was a professional improv group that came on and performed. Their performance didn’t even come close to the previous show put on by high school students. It was an unexpected but awesome night that still stands out to me today.

Q: What makes the fest special to you and/or other students?

A: Something that makes the fest special is being able to see other students, not from our school, put on productions. While not all of the productions are good, it’s fun to see what certain schools bring to the fest. Another thing that is special about the fest is that you are able to interact with other students from all across Illinois, theater students no less, which can tend to be very fun and unique experiences.