EXETER — Wyoming Area High School senior student Hannah Klaproth has performed in front of big crowds, but her largest audience is awaiting her in Nebraska.
Klaproth, 18, along with junior student Dante DeLuca, 17, both members of the Wyoming Area Drama Club, have been selected to perform in the International Thespian Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska.
A thespian within the Wyoming Area Drama Club, according to Klaproth, is a member who is in ninth grade or higher, has devoted over 100 hours and performed in at least two shows.
The Wyoming Area Drama Club, according to advisor Sarah Pellegrini, has 27 thespians overall.
The International conference will be held Monday, June 20 through Friday, June 26 and this will mark the first time members of the Wyoming Area Drama Club have been selected to attend.
DeLuca and Klaproth will perform the two-person play “Please Have a Seat and Someone Will Be With You Shortly,” a story of two individuals who, week after week, form a friendship while waiting in their psychologist’s waiting room.
Klaproth said trying to hold an audience’s attention with just two actors is harder than it seems, even though it is only a 20-minute show.
“We’re sitting down and we can’t really use our stage like we’re used to,” she said. “So, instead we have to do it all in the little things we do like make sure our acting is crisp and clean and we’re fully submerged in our characters.”
The two students performed the piece at the Pennsylvania State Thespian Conference in December and were given a score of 48 out of 50, which qualified them to be selected for the International Thespian Conference in Lincoln.
Pellegrini said her two students had to prepare on their own, as the drama club was also preparing for their fall show “The Curious Savage” at the time.
“While it would have been ideal to take a piece that incorporated everybody, because we already had a prior commitment to the school with ‘The Curious Savage’ we thought something more intimate for the state conference would have been a lot more realistic for us,” said Pellegrini.
While there is excitement about going to the International Thespian Conference, the trip is not cheap.
Pellegrini, Klaproth, DeLuca as well as assistant drama club advisor Chuck Yarmey and stage manager Nina Minnelli all need to attend the conference, but cost is $720 for Klaproth, DeLuca and Minelli and $848 for Pellegrini and Yarmey as well as an additional $500 per person for airfare.
If money is not raised, the group will not be able to attend the conference.
To help raise the money Pellgrini has asked the Wyoming Area School District for help, as the club is not school-funded, and also applied for a Send a Troupe Grant that will give whatever money is needed to send all 27 thespians in the club as well as its two advisors.
The grant will also cover housing, airfare and registration for the conference.
It is only awarded to two thespian troupes within the United States, said Klaproth.
A GoFundMe page was also started by Klaproth’s mother and has raised over $1,200 as of Feb. 12.
“We’re very hopeful that the community can reach out and help, at least to send the five that we need,” said Pellegrini.
Although money is an issue right now, Klaproth remains hopeful that they can make the trip to the International Thespian Conference.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” she said. “I’m so excited because I’ve been in the drama club since seventh grade and actually going somewhere with it — I’m really, really excited. It was a really big rush to be on the stage at state convention and I can’t imagine what it would be like on the international conference.”