MTC Takes Second At State!



With their adaptation of Margaret Edson’s play “Wit,” the Munster Theatre Company (MTC) placed second in the Indiana Thespians State Play Competition from Jan. 20-22 at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, IN. At the event, junior Clover Sarkady also was named one of two Outstanding Lead Performers by the judges.

According to Ray Palasz, MTC program director, this is not only Munster High School’s first time placing in the top three at the State level, but also the first time a northwest Indiana school has placed in the top three at the competition. The competition is sponsored by the Indiana Thespians, which is the state organization of the Educational Theatre Association, the professional theater association for theater educators and the honor society for middle and high school theater.

“‘Wit’ is the result of a strong seven-year theater program here in Munster,” Palasz said.  “Many of our cast and crew members have been involved in theater since they were students at our Wilbur Wright Middle School. Others have taken our theater classes here at the high school.  Some have done both. They took tremendous ownership of the show to the point where my job became more like higher-level mentoring of the students rather than teaching them what they need to know.”

Palasz also noted that at the competition Sarkady and her classmate senior Michael Casner garnered nearly $100,000 in scholarship offers from college theater programs. Casner, who played the main character’s father in “Wit,” a drama that explores the meaning of life through the contemplation of mortality, was particularly moved by his experience.

“It was amazing seeing the cast grow into a ‘family,’” he said. “It's always comforting when that family grows into an unconditional support system. It was incredibly rewarding to tell such a relevant and deeply emotional story. I'm insanely proud of all the cast and crew and all the work we put into this show. It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life.”

Several Mustangs also competed in the International Thespian Excellence Awards at the State competition. Earning Excellence ratings are Josh Decker, Clover Sarkady, Wesley Harle, Aditi Tumuluri, Michael Casner, Jim Ferguson, Tara Gaither, Charlie Ilijevski, Jeremy Kaim, Evvy Kikkert, Peter Pipik, Lindsay Opiola, Lucas Opiola, Marija Pavlic, Isidora Pavlic, and Rhiannon Shelton. Sophomore Pemi Ogunjimi earned a Superior rating, which qualified her to take her entry in Theatre Marketing to the International Thespian Festival in June at Indiana University in Bloomington. 

The Munster Theatre Company’s “Wit” ensemble includes: Robert Brunetti, Michael Casner, Clara Dumaresq, Delaney Craig, Josh Decker, Kyle Farnell, Jim Ferguson, Tara Gaither, Wesley Harle, Izzy Iglesias, Charlie Ilijevski, Yumna Jawad, Seamus Keegan, Will Keegan, Evvy Kikkert, Josephine Mittelberger, Pemi Ogunjimi, Lindsay Opiola, Lucas Opiola, Isidora Pavlic, Marija Pavlic, Clover Sarkady, Rhiannon Shelton, Emma Starkey.