Thespian Troupe 42

Tommy Khou, Hi-Gusher Staff

Thespian Troupe 42 is one of the oldest and still-active theater education programs in the country. Thespian Troupe 42 is typically known as the ‘acting’ or ‘drama’ club, but it is much more than that. 


 It is currently operated by Jessica Freeman, who teaches theatre and stagecraft. Freeman stated, “We build on theatrical skills taught in or out of the classroom through theatrical productions and community service.” Why should students join? “People would want to join to learn more about theatre, technical, and building skills, as well as to have a community to turn to in tough times.  We do a lot of team building and getting-to-know-each-other activities that allow students to bond with other students that they may not get to know in the classroom.”


Thespian Troupe 42 typically meets one to two times a month, most of the time on the second Wednesday of the month, and typically works around tutoring schedules. On some Saturdays, the Troupe will have work calls or activities.  According to Freeman, they sometimes do special events, “Theatrical events, movie nights, pizza nights with our troupe.”


The Thespian Troupe also spends time together, making the theatre a better place. Freeman, “We also attend Arkansas State Thespian Festival where we get to attend workshops by theatre professionals and compete against other students throughout the state!”  


And if you’re just not interested in acting, that doesn’t mean that Thespian Troupe 42 isn’t the place for you, many members are backstage helping with backgrounds, props, and lighting! There is so much more to theatre than just acting.  What would you say to people who are interested in joining?   Freeman states, “Thespian Troupe 42 is truly like a family.  We want to be here for you and help others.”  Furthermore, students who are interested in expressing themselves can use Thespian Troupe 42 as a creative outlet!  “ People who love expressing themselves or helping others will love Troupe 42!” Freeman says, and what is the plan for this year? “The plan I have right now is to focus on workshops, community service, and educational opportunities.”  


Thespian Troupe 42 will be having interest meets on campus and virtually on October 2 and October 8, the meet will be hosted in room 1808 and virtual students who are interested in joining should email Mrs. Freeman.  The cost to officially join Thespian Troupe 42 is $25.  


Members of Thespian Troupe 42 were also asked questions concerning their experience with Thespian Troupe 42.   Anzel Preston a senior was asked what she liked about Thespian Troupe 42 and she responded, “I like the fact that everyone involved feels close and genuine,” and why did she join, “Theatre has always been a safe space for me, so it made sense to join both the class and the club.”  What makes Thespian Troupe 42 special?  “We typically get to travel upstate every year (excepting this year due to COVID) to Arkansas State Thespian Festival and that has always been really fun,” Preston states, and what would she tell someone who is interested in joining.  Preston responds, “ Thespian Troupe 42 is not just about acting, it’s about every single aspect that goes into producing a show, from set and costume design, sound and lighting, all the way to marketing. It’s a place for people with all kinds of skill sets, so you’ll always find where you belong.”


Hannia Valero, a senior was also asked some questions about her experience with Thespian Troupe 42.  How would she describe her experience, Hannia responds, “Very positive, I have learned so much about myself through TT42. I also have had so many opportunities such as learning about costuming from a New York costume designer who has worked with 2 Chainz at the Thespian Festival.”  What makes Thespian Troupe 42 so special? “What makes us different from other clubs is that we are all like family. Another thing that makes us special is that we are one of the oldest thespian troupes in the country,” says Valero, and when asked what she would tell those interested in joining she responds, “Through Thespian Troupe 42, you will find a family. We all care about each other and will make you feel at home. You will be able to gain so many opportunities through this club.” 


Thespian Troupe 42 is not just a club all about acting.  It is all about all aspects of the theater, everything that goes on backstage, and onstage.  Overall there is ore to Thespian Troupe 42 than just acting, it is a place that feels like family and a great creative outlet.  Anyone and everyone is welcome so don’t feel afraid to check it out.  If you are interested in joining there will be two interest meetings on October 2 and October 8 in room 1808, and there is a $25 due in order to join.