Gloria Deo Academy Missouri Thespian Conference

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On January 20-22, Mrs. Davis and I took six of our GDA Upper School Drama students to the Missouri State Thespian Conference.  The conference is an opportunity for theatre students to attend technical theatre and performance workshops lead by professionals and theatre educators.  The students were able to attend three MainStage performances at the Stifel Theatre and numerous one-act plays.  In addition to these events, our students were able to compete at the state level in various theatre events.

Gloria Deo Academy attendees shared about their experience:

If you keep trying then you’ll succeed. Maybe not in the way you expected but better. The conference gives you a chance to learn how to do that and opens so many doors. -Emma Hay

It was a ton of fun I learned a lot and that it was amazing to finally do something in person and not online. -Carly Callen

For me, it was a really great experience to just be able to talk and joke around with my friends. We were taught really amazing things by super cool instructors who helped us improve at things that we loved.  -Adrian Adams
[The Thespian Conference] was a lot of fun, and I got to learn more about different aspects of the theatre. It’s definitely an experience I won’t forget! -Addison Adams

Our students qualified in Solo Musical, Makeup Design and two sets of students qualified in Duet Musical.  They were able to showcase the talents that God gave them to the rest of the attendees at the conference.  I believe the students gained experience, knowledge, and confidence needed to better serve God in their daily walk of faith.  The hope is that the students will continue to grow and to use their God-given strengths and talents wherever God leads them. I am so proud of these young ladies and how well they represented our school at the Missouri State Thespian Conference! I am hoping that more students will be able to attend next year.

Michael Butcher retired from the public school systems of Missouri after 31 years of service. He has been the theater teacher/director at Kickapoo High School for the last 22 years.  He has directed and produced over 50 full-length theatrical productions including his all-time favorites Les Miserables  and Phantom of the Opera. Michael earned his  bachelor’s degree in Speech and Theatre from Missouri State University and holds a Masters from Drury University.  In 2019, his student’s production of Into the Woods was selected to perform at the Kansas City Music Hall.  His students have won many State Thespian Conference awards and scholarships.  Many of his students have qualified toto compete at the International Thespian Festival and several of these students have placed in the top 10 in the world and have received international scholarships.  His students have also won district and state honors through MSHSAA one-act play and readers theater competitions.  He has been an instructor for Drury University’s Pre-College program for over 26 year and serves as an instructor for the Missouri Fine Arts Academy.  Many of his former students have gone on to have successful careers as professional actors, performers, and teachers.  He is a member of theSpeech and Theatre Association of Missouri, The Educational Theatre Association and the National Forensic League.  Michael gave his life to the Lord when he was a boy and choose to live his life after the teachings of Jesus Christ.  He and his wife of 29 years, Deanna Butcher, attend the Tunas Free Will Baptist Church.  Michael and Deanna have three grown children Ashley, Jordan, and Austin.  He is excited to work in a Christian environment and to continue to share his joy of theatrical performance.