High School Drama Students Win Statewide Honors


Payson High School drama students got what amounts to a standing ovation at a recent statewide drama competition.

Payson students and teachers won several key awards at the Arizona State Thespian Festival.

For starters, a one-act play, “Paper or Plastic,” written by Werner Treieschman, received a superior rating and a runner-up award for the right to take the play to a national competition. If the Verrado High School can’t attend the national competition at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in June, then the Payson cast and crew will go. The PHS drama volunteer Thomas Walling, directed the one-act, which was his first directing effort in the state competition.

In addition, the PHS Thespian Troupe received a gold honor troupe award, for the 15th year running.

Winners of the award must receive points in three categories, production, troupe activities and school and community service. 

About 30 schools apply for the honor each year, but only about one-third of those achieve the “gold” level. In addition, drama teacher Kathy Siler was named one of the runners-up for the “AZ Drama Teacher of the Year” award.

“I was very surprised and also pleased to be honored,” said Siler.

“I credit my success to my husband John who taught me a lot about ‘caring for and nurturing students’ and to my gold volunteer Thomas Walling and all of my students whose dedication make me look good.”


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