Emerald Coast Theatre Company Honors 24 Junior Thespians at Tribe Night

Local students Inducted into ECTC Junior Company and Junior Thespian Troupe
ECTC Junior Thespian Troupe
ECTC Honors 24 Junior Thespians at Tribe Night Pictured: ECTC Junior Thespian Troupe No. 89447

Emerald Coast Theatre Festival (ECTC) recently hosted its annual Tribe Night. As part of the celebration ECTC inducted 24 local middle and high school students into two junior thespian programs.

“We are so proud of our ECTC junior members,” says ECTC co-founder and producing artistic director Nathanael Fisher. “Educational theater is core to our mission and we are inspired by the talent and passion of these young people every single day.”

In partnership with Seaside Neighborhood School, the ECTC ensemble of thespians is a chartered member of the Educational Theatre Association’s Junior Thespians.

A Junior Thespian troupe is an honor society that recognizes and rewards excellence among the participants in the theater arts. Troupe No. 89447 (in partnership with Seaside Neighborhood School)  provides middle school students the opportunity to expand their training and knowledge of the craft of theater. This program is open to any student in grades 6th through 8th (regardless of the school they attend) who is interested in developing personally in the craft of acting while creating a unique performance piece with fellow players. This troupe will focus on specialized training, acting techniques and implementing those techniques into performance. This troupe rehearses and competes in individual and group categories at regional and state Junior Thespians competitions.

The International Thespian Society is an honor society for theater arts students in grades six through eight who attend a school with an active Junior Thespian troupe. Twelve students, who completed sufficient quantity and quality of work in the theater arts, were inducted into Troupe 89447, ECTC’s Junior Thespian program held in partnership with Seaside Neighborhood School.

The inductees are as follows:

Aydan Christian – 8th

Kailey Cotton – 7th (Treasurer)

Ariana Haskaj – 9th

Alexander Koehler – 8th ( Historian)

Arianna Malai – 8th

Will Mustain – 8th

Kinsco Nagy – 7th

Walker Rivard – 9th

Duncan Rivard – 7th

Tabitha Sheldon – 7th

Kate Sprenkle – 8th ( President)

Caleb Vantassel – 9th


For young thespians who “age out” of ECTC’s education programs, there is a path to continue to participate in the theater arts. In response to a demand for programming for teenage thespians, ECTC formed a Jr. Company for high-school aged students.

The ECTC Jr. Company is an opportunity for high school students 9th-12th to continue their theatrical education. Members of the company have the opportunity to audition for several professional performance opportunities at ECTC as well as travel as a team to the Florida Theatre Conference for workshops and to audition for more than 50 colleges, universities, and conservatories. Students have exclusive masterclasses with the professional actors who come to work at ECTC. There are also opportunities for practical experience in technical theatre for all interested students. Our goal is to provide students with the advanced opportunities and educational training they need to succeed in whatever they do. A showcase featuring each student’s growth and hard work will be performed at the end of each semester.

The 2021 members of ECTC’s Jr. Company are students in Okaloosa, Walton and Bay County schools. This year’s Company are as follows:

Sasha Blair – 10th

Ethan Craig – 10th

Ariana Haskaj – 9th

Savannah Herndon – 9th

Lily Howland – 9th

Addison Lewis – 9th

Walker Rivard – 9th

jr companSean Rushford – 9th

Rylan Shaffer – 10th

Clara Taylor – 10th

Caleb Vantassell – 9th

Lainey Whitten – 10th

ECTC Junior Company

Back row:
Walker Rivard, Sasha Blair, Sean Rushford, Rylan Shaffer; Front row:
Ethan Craig, Clara Taylor, Savannah Herndon, Caleb VanTassell

Phillip Padgett and Rebeca Lake, MFA, are co- teachers for the ECTC Jr. Company and Junior Thespian Troupe. Rehearsals are held on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at ECTC. For more information on ECTC education programs for youth, visit emeraldcoasttheatre.org.










Categories: Theater