REDMOND, Oregon — Three Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) students recently took home prestigious acting honors from the renowned International Thespian Festival (ITF), an annual event where outstanding theatre students are recognized from around the world.
This year, there were 640 Thespy entries to adjudicate for the Virtual International Thespian Festival and only 28 entrants earned the Thespy Winner designation, with RPA winning three of the 28.
“I cannot speak kindly enough about these determined students,” said Kate Torcom, theatre director at RPA. “Through a pandemic, they showed grit, compassion, and dedication. It has certainly paid off as three Thespys from one school is unprecedented and an absolute honor.”
Senior Natalie Lawton won an International Thespian Excellence Awards – or Thespy for short – for her work in Stage Management, an honor she has received two years in a row.
“I am so incredibly grateful and honored to have received my second Thespy and Superior ranking in addition to having the opportunity to showcase at this year’s ITF,” said Lawton. “It doesn’t feel real. I am lucky to have my entire RPA Theatre family behind me as I continue my journey to Carnegie Mellon in the fall. Special shout out to Kate Torcom for making me a better human and helping me find my voice.”
Senior Grace Sorensen was awarded a Thespy in the Solo Musical category, a category they also performed well in during the Oregon Thespians Thespy Competition. Sorensen will perform the showcase to close out the ITF the evening of June 25.
“I’m incredibly honored and excited to have received a Thespy, two Superior medallions, and the opportunity to showcase once again at the close of my high school career,” said Sorensen. “I wouldn’t be where I am without Kate Torcom, so all of my thanks is to her and the rest of my family at RPA.”
Junior Aubrey Luse earned a Thespy for Playwriting. Luse was also recognized in May by the Educational Theatre Association for their work on the play, “The Plant Crusade.”
Additionally, freshman Allie Smith ranked Superior and will receive the Superior medallion in both of her categories, Solo Acting and Duo Acting Dramatic.
Thespy Winners receive a special medallion, a trophy for their school, and often, attention from some of the nation’s best colleges and universities.
This fall, Lawton will continue her stage management studies at Carnegie Mellon University, one of the top stage management programs in the country.
Sorensen will pursue a degree in performance at the University of Oklahoma.
About Redmond Proficiency Academy
Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) is a tuition-free public charter school located in Redmond, Oregon. Now in its twelfth year, RPA serves over 900 students from grades 6th-12th throughout Central Oregon. With an innovative and personalized proficiency-based collegiate model, RPA provides dynamic pathways to success for all students.