The 2019 Georgia Thespian Conference, also known as ThesCon, brought thousands of high school students from across the state to Columbus, Ga. for a few days of fun and to help them build a sense of community.
Some of the teenagers were able to see the magic of theater flash forward to create a glimpse of what it might look like to grow older.
Blaze Mason, a sophomore at Madison County High School, was one of the more than 5,000 attendees. Mason received a special makeover during a workshop taught by Steven F. Graver, Columbus State University associate professor of theatre and costume design.
Graver taught a workshop on how to apply aging makeup for the stage, while working with a person’s natural features. He chose Mason to be his model. Graver demonstrated how Mason may look when he grows older.
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This is Mason’s second year at the Georgia Thespian Conference. He usually works on the technical side of the theater and wasn’t used to working with make up and costumes.
He said he enjoyed the makeup workshop and the opportunity to spend time with other attendees.
“ThesCon is important to me because I can be myself and at school it’s kind of sometimes hard,” he said. “Here at ThesCon everybody’s accepting so it’s a nice place to come.”
After 22 years of teaching at CSU and teaching at the conference for 10 plus years, Graver knows that the students can come learn and be themselves.
For high school students the Georgia Thespian Conference is where “the way they want to express themselves is celebrated rather than ridiculed,”Graver said.
The conference offers a variety of activities for attendees ranging from workshops to scholarship auditions and theater productions presented by the high schools.