MHS Thespians Take Trophies At State Competition
Several Magnolia High School students and two teachers were state winners at the recent West Virginia State Thespian Festival held at the Cultural Center in Charleston.
In the performance division, Cody Hall and Sarah Goddard were named to the all-state cast while Bennet Siffrin and Daniel Seavy received “Outstanding Scene” for their performance of “Goodnight Gracie”. The cast and crew of the one-act play “The Empty Chair” received a social issues award for having the most potential for impact.
In the technical theatre division, Christien Landis took first place in stage properties, Jacob Hoskins was second in stage lighting, Jonas Glover was third in stage properties, and Rachel Hoffpauir was first place in advanced publicity.
In her first year as tech teacher, Amanda McPherson’s techies were fourth place over-all.
In the playwriting competition, Jake Potts took first place in the advanced writing category.
His play was performed at the festival preceding the awards ceremony.
Rachel Hoffpauir was re-elected to the state student board, which not only helps to run the state festival, but also selects the theme and logo for the event.
Eileen McKay Miller, teacher at Magnolia High School, was honored as Theater Teacher of the Year for the state of West Virginia. Miller, a 1972 graduate of Marshall University and speech and theater teacher at the school for the past 37 years, was chosen by her peers for her dedication and work with students across the state.
Miller has served on various state arts committees, including a 14-year stint as president of the West Virginia Thespians. She has mentored many young adults who have had successful careers in theater and associated careers.
As a speech teacher, she has helped students win many American Legion Oratorical contests at all levels as well as worked with various forensic and debate leagues.
These students have gone to the prestigious Governor’s School for the Arts and have indicated that she has been the guiding influence in their choice to attend and be successful in the program. Currently,
Miller is working with “Arts Alive!”, a showcase of the best in theater, art, and culture throughout the state. Her dedication and accomplishment in working with Julia Lee, WVDE Fine Arts coordinator, has helped make this program one of the best in the state.
Miller lives in New Martinsville with her husband, Doug, and has one son Jay, who along with his wife Amy and three children, live in Scott Depot, W.Va.