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Meet Our Faculty

Director Natasha Tolleson

Mrs. Natasha Tolleson has been the head of the Temple High School Theatre Arts Department for 31 years (as of the 2021-2022 school year). She moved to Temple when her husband, Richard, took a job as a TV weatherman at a local television station.

In 2018, she was selected as Educator of the Year by the Texas Educational Theatre Association. The award was presented at the group's TheatreFest 2018 convention in Dallas.

In UIL one-act play competitions, her teams have won the 5A state championships two times — "Ruthless!" in 2007 and "Bug" in 2016. Her one-act teams have been to state nine times and have been named a District Champion for the past 30 years in a row (as of 2022). No other UIL team at Temple High School holds such a record. Her students have entered the UIL Theatrical Design competition every year, and won the state championship in group design the first year of the contest (2008) and again in 2014. In the first year of the UIL Film Contest, Tolleson's students won the state championship in division two, narrative (2014). Mrs. Tolleson also serves as the UIL Coordinator at Temple High, and coaches prose and poetry interpretation and literary criticism. In 2011, she was named one of the Top 15 UIL Sponsors in Texas.

In International Thespian Society competition, she has had over 100 students advance from state to the international contest. In 2020, her tech design team won the Texas Thespian State Championship. At the 2017 state festival, she had more events advance than any other troupe in Texas. Her students have been featured on the main stage seven times since 2004. In 2014, she was inducted into the Texas Thespians Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Tolleson holds a bachelor of arts degree in theatre from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She is a certified International Baccalaureate Theatre Teacher and was named a "Master Teacher" by the University of Texas at Austin. Many of her former students now work in the theatre and entertainment industry.

She and her husband, Richard, have three children (Alexandra, Spencer and Emma), and two granddaughters (Charlotte and Penelope).


Theatre Instructor, Lights & Sound Teacher Kayla Stewart

Kayla Stewart is the assistant theatre director at Temple High School, and 2021-2022 is her sixth year under the direction of Natasha Tolleson. She is a graduate from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, where she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She is studying to obtain her Master's degree.

At the Texas State Thespian Convention, her choreography has been rated superior for the last three years. Her students competed at the International Thespian Convention, where they were rated superior, and received a mainstage callback. Ms. Stewart is also the UIL Informative and Persuasive Coach for Temple High School. She also does outside work for the Temple Civic Theatre, where she consults for lighting design and choreography.


(Last Updated February 2022)



Thespian Troupe #1966
Temple High School
Theatre Arts Department
415 South 31st Street
Temple, TX 76504

Kayla Stewart
Office 254-215-7278

Assistant Director
Evan Scott

Technical Director
Andy Reed

YouTube (thespiansrus)

30 Years

Temple's UIL One-Act Play Team has been a District Champion for 30 years in a row (as of March 2022). No other UIL team at Temple High holds such a record.

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Temple High Thespians

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2020-2021 Highlights

Texas Thespians:
18 Students Advance to
International Competition

State Champion:
Thespian Team Tech Design

Three Films Advance in
UIL Film Contest

Five State Qualifiers
in UIL Theatrical Design;
Group Wins Bronze Medal

District Speech: 10 of 15
Advancers were from Temple,
Two District Team Champs

UIL One-Act Play Student Body
Advances to State Meet
(5th Time in the last 6 Meets)
Final 8 out of 249 schools

State 2nd Runner-Up, UIL
Theatre Team Champions

2019-2020 Highlights

Texas Thespian Convention
Six Events Advance to
International Competition

Named a Texas Thespian
Outstanding Troupe (1 of 6)

Named Texas Thespian
All-Star Troupe (1 of 23)

Second Place in Texas
Team Mask Making

Performed Marathon Play
Wilderness for 500 people

UIL One-Act Play Mac Beth
District Champion. Contests
after district were cancelled

2018-2019 Highlights

Mrs. Tolleson Named a
TETA Educator of the Year

Texas Thespian Convention
All 8 Events Advance to
International Competition

Team Mask Making

Team Set Design

Nominee, Texas Thespian
Troupe of the Year (1 of 6)

5th Place
Baby with the Bathwater

Texas UIL 6A State Finals
One-Act Play Competition
(Out of 254 schools)

5th Place in Texas, Div. 2
UIL Dramatic Design Group

2017-2018 Highlights

Texas Thespian Convention
All 10 Events Advance to
International Competition
(More than any other troupe)

Texas Thespian Performance
of Wonder of the World

Texas Thespian All-Star
Troupe (1 of 10 in Texas)

Nominee, Texas Thespian
Troupe of the Year (1 of 3)

4th Place On the Verge
Texas UIL 5A State Finals
One-Act Play Competition
(Out of over 250 schools)