Drama Kids Invade the U

Theater conference brings together students from all over Utah


UTA Theater Conference

The poster for this year's UTA Conference with the theme: We Tell the Story

Classes, performances, and auditions. There is so much fun to be had at the Utah Theater Association (UTA) Conference. Juan Diego’s advanced drama class goes to this convention, nicknamed “Drama Con”, along with over 1000 other students from over 40 other high schools, every year. This year, the convention was held at the University of Utah and offered a wide variety of workshops and activities for students and teachers to do during the 3-day conference.

Thursday night was the first day of the convention, where all the schools gathered at Cottonwood High School to see the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s touring production of Every Brilliant Thing, the one-man/woman show about a kid who’s mother tries to commit suicide, so they start writing a list of everything to keep living for. Performed by Kat Lee, the show was especially fun for an audience full of theater kids, since it has a lot of audience participation.

Friday was the first day everyone was at the U. For 3 of JD’s seniors, this meant auditioning for colleges, and for the rest, it meant getting to attend fun and informative workshop, ranging from the random, such as Mortal Combat and Rod-Puppet Building, the relevant, such as Find the Perfect Audition Song and Telling Stories Through Character Roles. However, before all this fun could commence, half of the schools, including Juan Diego, gathered in Kingsbury Hall for a welcome ceremony. The ceremony included the presenting of the Student of the Year award, which a student from each represented school received. Senior Theresa Moore won the award for Juan Diego. The ceremony also included a performance from Ciara Renee, a Broadway actress known for playing The Witch in Big Fish and Leading Player in Pippin. It was also recently announced that she would be stepping back onto Broadway as Elsa in Frozen, which she gave an incredible sneak peek of.

Friday night, students went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Olympus High School, which was especially interesting for the JD kids because they are currently working on this production too. Olympus’ version was very well done and helpful for the JD kids to see as they begin the rehearsal process for their own production.

Saturday also had classes to attend, and in addition to going to classes, students had some free time to explore and play games, such as bowling, pool, and ping pong. Saturday also had a performance: Side Show at Judge Memorial Catholic High School. The actors did very well with the show, although the plot was a bit confusing.

Overall UTA, is a very good experience for all who attend. Not only do students get to meet other theater kids from other schools, but seniors get to audition for colleges and students get to see some great productions of fun shows. For JD’s students, some favorite parts included seeing Curious Incident and getting to explore the campus at the U. Next year, UTA will be held at SUU, with even more fun to be had.