Enloe Students and the International Thespian Society


The International Thespian Society is an honor society for middle and high school students, spanning educational programs, festivals, scholarship opportunities, and member benefits. In March, several Enloe theater students performed at the ITS state festival. Each student received high ratings on their performances, a testament to the students’ abilities and the talent of the greater Enloe theater community. 

The organization itself was established with the goal of promoting amateur theater and creating a community of students across the United States. Induction into ITS consists of a multi-month to multi-year process for many students, with Enloe theater students logging tech, acting, and ensemble hours both within and outside of Enloe. 

At the end of the year, Sam Davis, an Enloe senior, will be inducted into the organization after his award-winning monologue at the state festival. Davis described the power of ITS as the ability to “have a community that is just as committed as you are.” 

When speaking with fellow senior Emma Gaddy she echoed these ideals of community and commitment. 

“The process leading up to ITS was definitely a lot of hard work, but it’s all what I enjoy doing and was such a fun experience overall, especially because I was able to perform a solo and a trio musical,” says Gaddy. “All the people in ITS helped give feedback on each other’s performances and it was such a welcoming environment that brought us all closer as a family.” 

The State Competition consisted of a multitude of events. Davis performed under the monologue and duet categories and Gaddy under the solo and trio musical categories. For Davis’s “superior rated” monologue he performed a piece from Every Brilliant Thing along with an excerpt from Dracula, reviving his character of Renfield debuted at Enloe’s fall play. 

With the piece consisting of two contrasting monologues in three minutes, Davis spoke about the shift between the two pieces as a challenge as an actor, both technically and temporally. 

“I wanted to make it super sudden […] after my character says ‘have a seat aye’ just throwing the chair across the stage,” says Davis. 

In a competition like this, space plays a vital role in an actor’s mindset, from feeding off of the energy of the crowd to battling pre-show nerves. Davis described his pre-show process as something many of us know well, motivating with positive affirmations against pre-show nerves. 

“When you are performing, the moments right before you go on are super important to ground yourself,” says Davis. “Those five minutes are the least humble you ever need to be in your life.” 

Gaddy participated in the musical category and reiterated the “surrealness” of the festival and the power of a culmination of months of hard work. 

“Watching my friends and others do something that I love while also getting to participate was such a dream come true, and the work leading up to it made it all the more a surreal experience,” says Gaddy.

With this passion and the theater education gained at Enloe, Davis will be continuing in the dramatic arts with a double major at UNC in Psychology and the Dramatic Arts. Along with many other students, he cites the Enloe theater department as a defining factor in his love for theater and his growth through it. 

“My heart is just filled with gratitude for the training and community [that] Enloe theater has given me,” says Davis.