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Thespians Welcome 19 New Members

Nineteen performing arts-driven high school students were recognized for their hard work in areas ranging from dance to music, literature to theater, as part of the newly reinstated North Salem International Thespian Society.

What started with just five members at the beginning of the school year grew exponentially at the May 23 induction ceremony, which also included student performances and presentations and a reception to celebrate the current and new members.

“The [students] designed the whole thing,” Doug Coates, troupe director of North Salem’s International Thespian Society, said of the evening. “I wanted our kids to be recognized for the work that they do. There is such insane talent in this building and I want them to understand how important it is what they do.”

Students involved in the arts were able to earn points throughout the school year, as designated by the Educational Theatre Association, for everything from performing the lead roles in the school’s productions to operating the light board for a show. 

Coates also noted that in addition to celebrating achievement, the International Thespian Society is a service organization that teaches students to give back to the community that supports them.

The evening’s highlights also included recognition of the administrators and faculty who have inspired students to celebrate the performing arts. In particular, the officers were thrilled to recognize Lesley Hoagg, who serves as director of the middle school drama club and is retiring at the end of the year.

In the coming years, Coates hopes to see the International Thespian Society expand in North Salem to continue to enhance the arts offerings in the district.

“This year, they earned the money to put down a new floor for the stage. I want to see them do more,” he said.