ST. JOHN | Lake Central High School headed to the state finals this weekend, but this time instead of athletic uniforms, they packed costumes.
Lake Central Theater Company traveled to Vincennes University to compete at the state conference of the Indiana Thespians, an official chapter of the Educational Theatre Association.
The Lake Central thespians, first-place winners at one of three Indiana Thespians regionals, are presenting a cut from their production of "The Harvey Girls."
"We will be competing against 12 other schools in the play competition, where we will have 45 minutes to put up our set, perform our piece, and take down our set," said LCHS Thespian Director Ray Palasz.
"We will be adjudicated by five judges who will award trophies for the top overall shows plus the following areas - best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress.
"In addition, there are numerous other acting, technical, design, and film competitions that we are entered in along with the other 28 schools around the state attending the conference. All of the other events are judged by college theater professors as well as theater professionals."
Palasz said Lake Central is one of only three schools in Northwest Indiana that competes in Indiana Thespian competition, along with Merrillville and Griffith.
"Lake Central has been highly active in these conferences for the past nine years. This year we are the only Northwest Indiana school to have a play represented at the state level.
"This is not the first time we have competed at the state level, but the first time we have ever won our regional," said Palasz, whose students also received best technical element and best ensemble awards at the regional level. "The company of 'The Harvey Girls' has been one of the strongest and most cohesive groups of actors, designers, and directors I have been blessed to work with.
"One of the things we pride ourselves on in Lake Central Theatre is having very student-driven productions. Our sets, costumes, lights, sound, and props are largely designed by our students, with mentoring from the directors."