International Thespians Day Three

Greetings from the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Here’s a short audio-set-to-video of our third day here. Today we highlight an exceptional performance Craig saw.


Lindsay: Hello, welcome to day three of the International Thespian Festival. I’m Lindsay, and I’m here with Craig.

Craig: Hello.

Lindsay: And so today what we’re talking about is sometimes we’re lucky enough to have Theatrefolk productions reach to this level. There are lots and lots of places that students and troupes can perform. There’s the main stage, and there are also chapter selects, and there are all kinds of theatres around the campus where students can perform. So, sometimes we’re lucky enough to have something here. On Friday, there’s going to be one of our one-acts, one of my one-acts, The Egg Carton and Shaving Cream Solution, done by Brason High School, and yesterday Craig got to see a production of Huge Hands by Billy Houck. Craig, so first of all, let’s talk about, because this is an interesting story all on its own, who performed Huge Hands.

Craig: Well, it was four different schools in the Northern Mariana Islands…

Lindsay: And where are the Northern Mariana Islands?

Craig: Well, they’re kind of in the middle of nowhere. It’s near Guam. It’s a tiny island chain between like Australia and Japan. It’s one of those places that you zoom in on on Google Maps, and when you zoom out, after about four zoom-outs, it completely disappears and just looks like a big load of ocean.

Lindsay: And I think it’s just, well, you know, on its own it’s completely fascinating that this place in the middle of the ocean found our company, found one of our plays, put it on and brought it clear across the country—what did you say, Craig? Is it a day and a half?

Craig: He said it was a day and a half of travel.

Lindsay: And they’re here. You said they did a really good job.

Craig: They did a fantastic job. The play, if you’re unfamiliar with it, really does rely on just one central character, a kid who’s referred to as Sparky in the script, and one of these kids who’s just always being pushed around, bullied by the other kids. And he kind of enters this fantasy world where he has these huge hands, hence the title of the play, that he can use to smash his enemies down and beat his oppressors up, and he becomes strong through his own imagination. And it really, the whole thing, hinges on the one character. There are other actors in the play but it’s almost like a one-man show, because almost everything else that happens in the play is as a result of this one kid’s, Sparky’s, imagination.

And the kid who performed it, his name was Mikael Alcantara—I hope I’m pronouncing some of that right—he was astonishing. He held such a strong position on the stage. And it’s not very often you hear this, but it was just dead silent in the theatre. He had the focus of the entire audience directly on him.

Lindsay: And not only the fact that he was this amazing actor, he’s also a very young actor.

Craig: He’s 13 years old and he’s in the seventh grade, so, I mean, he really rose to the occasion.

Lindsay: And we understand that only did he do well in this play but he also received a callback. There are monologue, duet, a whole bunch of individual events here at International Thespian Festival, and he received a callback. And the seniors from the troupes that know him were just absolutely flummoxed that they didn’t get a callback and 13-year-old Mikael did, so congratulations, Mikael.

Craig: Yeah, I think he had no idea even what a callback was. They didn’t even really brief him on what that was because he was just here to experience the festival. So, good on him. I hope for huge things for him.

Lindsay: Okay, so that’s it on for day three. I can’t believe we’re chugging along towards the end of the week and our time here is almost up. We’ll talk to you tomorrow.

About the author

Craig Mason