ARKANSAS NATIVE Angela Lovelace is a familiar face to audiences of Jonesboro High School’s theatre department. Since debuting her freshman year in Pinocchio, Lovelace has performed in 12 productions on her high school stage, in shows including My Fair Lady, Rock of Ages, Hound of the Baskervilles, and Mamma Mia! She appeared there one last time in May as Ouiser Boudreaux in Steel Magnolias.

Lovelace served on the board of Troupe 1338 for the last three years and as an Arkansas State Thespian Officer the last two. She’ll pass on her International Thespian Officer sash following this summer’s International Thespian Festival, where last year she earned a superior rating for her monologue in the National Individual Events program and received 25 callbacks from her college audition.

Angela Lovelace preps with Pennsylvania's State Thespian Officers for the opening ceremonies of their state Thespian festival.

Angela Lovelace (bottom left) preps with Pennsylvania’s State Thespian Officers for the opening ceremonies of their state conference. Photo courtesy of Angela Lovelace.

In her spare time, Lovelace recently found another creative outlet in piano lessons, and she uses her presentation and analytical skills as the vice president of Jonesboro’s Debate and Forensics Club. When not in a theatre, you might find her on the field, spinning for the color guard of her school’s marching band or playing softball. She counts Reese’s peanut butter cups, Motown music, and puns on her list of favorite things, as well as spending as much time with her family as possible.

What experience made you fall in love with theatre?
Like many other 6-year-old girls, when I was younger all I wanted was to be a movie star. Lucky for me, I had parents supportive enough to help me make my acting dreams come true at such a young age. I was sent to a camp called Pro-Scouts, and it was there that I became acquainted with performing for the first time. When I left that week, I’d found something I really enjoyed. Very soon after that, I began attending a visual and performing arts magnet school. That’s when I became involved in more productions, and my passion for theatre slowly started to form.

What has been your favorite high school theatre experience to date?
My favorite theatre experience was participating in Eat (It’s Not About Food). During this show, our cast raised money for a local eating disorder clinic, and it was the first time I realized just how powerful theatre is and how much it can impact the lives of those who encounter it.

What inspired you to become an International Thespian Officer?
The thing that prompted me to serve on the ITO board was the need to promote the importance of educational theatre on a national level. Not only has arts education impacted my life, but I’ve also seen it impact the lives of others in ways unimaginable. As artists, we know how necessary it is for our nation to see the way theatre enhances the lives of everybody involved, but unfortunately not everyone does. I not only wanted to advocate for the importance of theatre education but also encourage others to promote a higher quality of life through theatre.

My favorite ITO experience was getting the opportunity to attend the National Arts Action Summit in Washington, D.C. Not only was I able to storm Capitol Hill with hundreds of other theatre aficionados, but I also had the chance to meet and speak with Broadway and film actress Rita Moreno. This was such a pivotal moment because she is someone who has inspired me since I was young. The opportunity to learn from her was an irreplaceable experience.

What are your plans after high school?
I plan to major in theatre performance in college. However, I would also like to get a degree in arts administration to fulfill my long-term goal of opening my own community theatre.

What do you enjoy most about the International Thespian Society?
My favorite part of being a Thespian is the family that comes with it. It’s so amazing to know that in such a diverse group of people, no matter what direction you choose to go, you will always be able to connect over a common passion for the arts.

I would encourage anyone starting your Thespian journey to dream with your eyes wide open. There are so many amazing opportunities to learn and grow in your field and as a person that come with being part of a community like ITS. You don’t want to miss a single thing!

Follow the International Thespian Officers on Instagram @thespiansociety.

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