Postville Community School District, the home of Troupe 417, is located in rural Northeast Iowa and has a population of 2,227. Our school has a total enrollment of 747 students, with 87% of families designated as "low-income" and 100% of students on free and reduced lunch. Our school population is 65% minority students, which is unique for our corner of the state. Postville is home to a large Kosher meat packing plant, which attracts workers from many ethnic backgrounds.
The school does not provide thespians with a budget, other than to pay our annual membership dues. We fundraise for all troupe expenses, including, but not limited to: student inductions, awards & honors, our annual trip to State Thespian Festival and scripts for thespian-only performances.
Given the level of poverty, the size of our community and the number of organizations that are also fundraising, there isn't a lot of money to go around. We are reaching out on this platform in order to preserve our fundraising sources for the 2018-19 school year.
Our deadline to raise the funds is April 13th, 2018. All funds raised will go towards the registration fees and/or travel expenses for fifteen thespians and two chaperones to attend the International Thespian Festival.
The International Thespian Society is an honor society for students in theatre. Students involved in all aspects of theatre- performance and production- are honored on a national level through induction into their school's thespian troupe.
The International Thespian Festival is a week-long opportunity for students in theatre to: attend workshops in all aspects of theatre, taught by professionals; meet with recruiters from dozens of college’s and university’s theatre programs; watch performances by troupes from across the country; meet students from troupes from across the country. Given our school's geographic location and financial constraints, an experience like the International Thespian Festival is rare for our students. Registration per student is $790, which is much more than most of our families can afford. Our students would not have this chance without the grant from the EdTA and the generosity of our donors.
Since re-chartering our Troupe 417 in 2017, our students have achieved much success. At Iowa’s State Thespian Festival in the fall of 2017, our group acting performers placed second and third. During our 2018 IHSSA Large Group Speech season, every student who participated earned a Division "I" rating in at least one of their two performances and advanced to State contest. Our short film group earned an "All-State" nomination at State contest, one of only 16 in the state of Iowa to do so. Students have found success in our Individual Speech season, as well, with nine out of thirteen performers earning a Division "I" rating and moving on to State contest. At State, six students received Division "I" Ratings.
In addition to excellence in theatre, it is our troupe's mission to be involved in the community. Troupe 417 has taken part in community clean-up days, the annual Easter egg hunt, Trunk-or-Treat, the Hometown Celebtation parade and we have performed for various groups and organizations in the community.
As director, I firmly believe that our involvement in the International Thespian Society and the opportunities it affords us have been instrumental to our speech/drama program's recent successes. Having the chance to go to the International Thespian Festival will provide our students knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to their continued growth as performers and techies and to the growth of our theatre programs at Postville. We are grateful for any donation you choose to make.
Check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/postvilledrama/
- Sierra Gonzalez
- Postville Booster Club
- Erika Fish
- Dustin Counsell
Organizer and beneficiary
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