Too Much Drama

West Bloomfield High School implements new rosters and executive board positions in International Thespian Society.

Too Much Drama

The West Bloomfield High School (WBHS) drama department holds many events, productions, and activities each year; some of these activities include Fall Show, Children’s Show, Film Festival, Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association (MIFA), and the Spring Musical. Additionally, the drama department hosts an honors program for students who excel in theater and have many hours of performing or behind the scenes work. This honors program is known as the International Thespian Society or ITS.

The Educational Theatre Association established ITS and since 1929, ITS has inducted over  two million Thespians (students involved in ITS). WBHS first introduced ITS as a club 39 years ago, in 1975. To become a member of ITS at WBHS a student must attain 14 drama points. A student can attain these points in many ways, but all theater activities provide points. Karen Brody, a counselor at WBHS and professional actor and singer, advises ITS for WBHS. Brody chose to advise ITS, “because I love drama.” Her goal as advisor of ITS is, “to honor the students who have earned the award. The people in ITS are the leaders of the drama department.” The members of ITS at WBHS show much promise, as Brody states they are, “all very good, enthusiastic and active.”

There are 19 ITS rosters (members) at WBHS. The 2014-2015 WBHS ITS rosters include: Jackson Abohasira (11), Brooke Bain (12), Brenna Birr (11), Ilyssa Brunhild (10), Ian Graham (11), Nicolas Hampton (11), Natalie Herman (10), Madeleine Hughes (11), Pierce Kaufman (11), Samantha Luken (12), Tiffany McNulty (12), Raina Pintamo (12), Perry Quarker Jr. (11), Haley Reeves (12), Joshua Rusinov (12), Nick Stanfel (12), Aaron Stragner (11), Max Vinogradov (12), David Wilson (10), and Dunia Zawideh (11). In addition to being a roster, members have the opportunity to hold other positions on the executive board, such as Junior Officer, held by Jackson Abohasira and Madeleine Hughes; Treasurer, held by Samantha Luken; Secretary, held by Perry Quarker Jr.; Tech Liaison, held by Joshua Rusinov; Vice President, held by Max Vinogradov; or President, held by Raina Pintamo.

Junior Officer Madeleine Hughes’ (Grade 11) responsibilities include, “mostly to run initiation.” Hughes has been in WBHS drama for 3 years and this is her first year in ITS. Hughes decided to join ITS because “I wanted to be more involved in the theater department and have a say in the shows we do and the events we have.” As Hughes continues in ITS, she is considering other positions she is interested in holding her senior year; “I would love to have president or vice president,” Hughes comments.

Junior Officer Jackson Abohasira’s (Grade 11) responsibilities involve “Initiat[ing] the new drama students and help[ing to] include sophomores and freshman to the [drama] program.” This is Abohasira’s 3rd year in drama and his 1.5th year in ITS. Abohasira initially joined ITS because “[ITS is] the thespian society and I’m a thespian.” As Abohasira continues in ITS, he begins to consider other positions he would like to hold his senior year his senior year; “President,” Abohasira states.

Treasurer Samantha Luken’s (Grade 12) responsibilities are to “go to ITS meetings and have beneficial discussion among the board to set the line-up of shows.” Luken has been in drama for 4 years and has been a member of ITS for 2.5. Luken chose to become a member of ITS because “As soon as I started as a freshman I knew it [the WBHS drama program] was a very serious program. I recognized that ITS was a very committed way to express and become more engaged with the program. I like being involved in the theater department and working alongside [Mr. Micah] Greene and [Mrs. Karen] Brody.” As a senior, Luken looks towards her future, “I haven’t decided but I’m considering Grand Valley [State Universtiy] and Northern [Michigan University]. I have a lot of interests, including animation, illustration, metal works, and graphic narrative.”

Secretary Perry Quarker’s (Grade 11) responsibilities are “Not really specific yet, but I’m pretty much Mrs. Brody’s sidekick – whatever she needs done, I do it.” Quarker has been in drama for 3 years and has been a part of ITS for 1 year. Quarker first felt motivated to join ITS because “[ITS] is the way I’m telling people that I’m more dedicated to theater than other people who just come but drift out. It a way to show I truly care for the program and that I’m dedicated to it.” As Quarker continues in ITS, he considers the positions he finds interest in holding for his senior year, “I’m all right with secretary, [if not,] I’d like to become president, but only if the members of ITS trust me enough to hold it.”

Tech Liaison Joshua Rusinov’s (Grade 12) responsibilities incorporate “mak[ing] sure that all ITS programs coincide with all the activities of the Tech crew.” Rusinov has been in Tech for 4 years and has been a part of ITS for 3 years. Rusinov decided to join ITS because “I wanted to feel more connected with everyone else in the theater program.” As a senior, Rusinov looks at his path for a career, starting with college. He states, “I am hoping to be accepted into an Ivy League school. Worst case scenario being Michigan State University or University of Michigan, [with] a theoretical physics major and nuclear physics minor.”

Vice President Max Vinogradov’s (Grade 12) responsibilities encompass assisting Pintamo and helping to organize events. This is Vinogradov’s 4th year in WBHS drama and his 3rd year in ITS. Vinogradov previously held the position of Junior Officer in the 2013-2014 school year. As a senior, Vinogradov considers his options for the future, he says “I’m now considering studying acting at DePaul or some of the various schools in New York.”

President Raina Pintamo’s (Grade 12) responsibilities are to, “organize events like the parade and community service projects, run the meetings, and act as a bridge between the adults of drama and the [students].” Pintamo has been a part of WBHS drama for all four years of high school, and this year is her 2nd year as a roster of ITS. Pintamo first joined ITS because “I wanted to be even more involved in drama, and ITS is the way to do that.” As a senior, Pintamo looks ahead to her options for college, “Hopefully I will be able to go to University of Michigan and major in some type of engineering,” she says.

WBHS expects only the best from the new ITS rosters and board members this year, as they are the leaders of the drama department and WBHS. There is no doubt that they will shine on and excel in everything they do.