Two Marion Junior High drama students are headed to the Arkansas Junior Thespian Festival Thespys competition this weekend after securing Superior scores at the recent State Festival Level event.

Both events are part of the International Thespian Excellence Awards (Thespys for short). This educational program celebrates the work of theater students, giving them the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on prepared theatrical material.

Headed to the Junior Festival this weekend are Alden Ashley and Jazmine Burton. Both girls compete individually in the Solo Musical Performance category.

Alden’s piece is "So Much Better" from the musical “Legally Blonde Jr.,” which is also the musical Marion Junior High School will present Nov. 17-19 at the Marion Performing Arts Center. "So Much Better" is an up-tempo song performed by Elle after Warner proposes to the girl who has taken her place. Elle realizes she can do “so much better” and sets her sights on her academic career.

Jazmine will be competing with "Good Girl Winnie Foster" from the musical “Tuck Everlasting.” In this piece, 11-year-old Winnie Foster yearns for a life of adventure beyond her white picket fence, but her mother has some very strike rules she has to follow.

Alden and Jazmine were among a handful of junior high drama students who competed at the State Level Festival competition. Alden and Jazmine earned “Superior” scores, earning the opportunity to compete at the next level. Alden and Jazmine will also have the opportunity to compete at the International Thespian Festival this summer as representatives of Arkansas.

The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit or call 870-739-5100