Student athletes often receive statewide kudos for their sports prowess. Now, four Olentangy students have received equivalent honors for their work on stage.

Student athletes often receive statewide kudos for their sports prowess. Now, four Olentangy students have received equivalent honors for their work on stage.

The 2015 Ohio Thespian Conference will be held Friday through Sunday, March 27-29, at Bexley High School. More than 1,500 drama students and teachers will attend workshops and performances by students from across Ohio.

Months ago, students competed for roles in the performances at the conference.

In November, students submitted videos for judges to consider and received callbacks in January asking them to audition for specific roles.

Students who won roles took part in three intensive weekend-long rehearsals for the musical Spring Awakening.

Olentangy Orange High School will send three students to the conference. Josh Ryan earned the lead role of Melchior in the musical, while Grayson Feeman will play Reinhold and join the ensemble. In addition, Sara Kemerer was named assistant stage manager.

Olentangy High School also will be represented; Megan Steir will be part of the ensemble.

Feeman said the audition process was fun because the students who were competing were talented -- and comfortable with their talents.

He said rehearsals were more intense than the ones he's experienced at his high school, since they lasted all day for three straight days, but only once a month.

"Since we had a month in between each time we got together for rehearsal, we were relied on to pick up information and remember it while we were at home," he said. "We were really given the responsibility of accomplishing this on our own."

Feeman said it was interesting to work with such a diverse group of students who share his passion for the stage.

"We've really become a family and it seems like we shouldn't have such a strong connection, because we haven't been working together that long," he said.

There will be two performances of Spring Awakening on March 27, and Feeman said tickets for the performances are sold out.

"It's an honor to be performing for people all around the state," he said. "These performances give people inspiration.

"We've really become a family working on this show together, and I believe our dedication and commitment creates a passionate show that should be a mind-blowing experience for those who are watching."

Feeman's mother, Shelly Feeman, said being part of the conference's performances is a huge honor.

"The students being selected for one of these performances is the equivalent of a team winning an all-state sports championship," she said. "They receive a plaque that goes up on the wall at the school."

Grayson Feeman said five students from the drama department at Orange auditioned and three were chosen, which he said is outstanding for his department.

Feeman said he is looking forward to attending the other shows at the conference as well.

"You get tickets and go around and watch plays for 12 hours a day," he said. "It's unlike anything I've ever been at."