Six District 99 students were chosen by competitive audition by the Illinois High School Theatre Festival to be part of the 2018 All-State production of the new broadway musical, “Big Fish.”
The All-State cast, crew, and pit orchestra are comprised of top student performers, musicians, and technicians from across Illinois. The District 99 students were chosen from 345 students across the state who chose to audition; 107 students were selected from 57 different high schools for the final production company.
Students selected include:
Downers Grove North High School student Ellie Banke, who will play the female lead in the production;
Downers Grove North High School student Lucie Boyd, who will play viola in the pit orchestra;
Downers Grove North High School student Jack Cannan, who will serve on technical crew, props;
Downers Grove South High School student Ryles Eide, who will serve on technical crew, props;
Downers Grove South High School student Bella Kelly, who will play violin/fiddler in the pit orchestra;
Downers Grove South High School student Madeline Pteanc, who will play violin in the pit orchestra;
Hunter Evans, adult staff member at DGS, will serve as scene designer.
“If there was ever a doubt that District 99 is a powerhouse in fine and performing arts, the fact that our students are so well represented for this state production removes that doubt,” says Dr. Hank Thiele, District 99 superintendent. “We are incredibly proud of our talented students, and we can’t wait to see the show next January.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students to collaborate creatively with some of the best talent in the state,” says Demetrios Pappageorge, English and Theatre teacher at DGN and former executive director of IHSTF.
Nathaniel Haywood, an English teacher at DGS, is the current executive director of IHSTF.
The 2018 Illinois High School Theatre Festival All-State production of Big Fish will be performed at Illinois State University during the festival, which runs January 11-13, 2018.
A synopsis of the “Big Fish” musical, from Theatrical Rights Worldwide, reads:
“Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, BIG FISH centers on Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest… and then some! Edward’s incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him – most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, BIG FISH is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre – for an experience that’s richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself.”
Produced by the Illinois Theatre Association, the Illinois High School Theatre Festival (IHSTF) is the largest and oldest non-competitive high school theatre festival in the world. The three-day Festival takes place every year in early January and switches locations between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois State University. Over 4,000 students, teachers, university representatives, exhibitors, and volunteers come together to put on over 25 different high school productions and over 150 workshops at the festival.
For additional details, please visit www.illinoistheatrefest.org.