Monday, February 19, 2018
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Meet Our Faculty

Director Natasha Tolleson

Mrs. Natasha Tolleson is the head of the Temple High School Theatre Arts Department. Her classes include Dramatic Literature, Dramatic Design, Special Needs Theatre, Theatre Production, Acting I and Advanced Acting.

In the annual UIL one-act play contest, her teams have been named District Co-Champions and advanced to the area contest for the past 23 years in a row. No other UIL team at Temple High School holds such a record.

In 2007, her team won the UIL 5A State Championship with Ruthless!. In 2008, her team was named Second Runner-Up at state with Valhalla and in 2001 was Second Runner-Up with The Marriage of Bette and Boo. In 2010, her team was a State Finalist (Top 8 in Texas). Her teams have been the alternate advancing school to the state competition (Top 12 in Texas) seven times.

In two 5A one-act state competitions (2007-08), her students have received five of the six top awards given to individual actors. Her students were named Best Performer in Texas (Samuel French Award) (twice), Best Actor in Texas (twice) and Best Actress in Texas.

Her students have entered the UIL Dramatic Design competition every year it's been in existence, and have advanced to the state finals each time. In 2008, the team was named the State Champion in UIL Group Dramatic Design from all five conferences (1A-5A). In 2009, the team won fourth place in the state. In 2010, Temple High School has more state finalists (six) than any other school in Texas, and the team won fourth place in the state. In 2011, six students advanced to the state finals.

Mrs. Tolleson also serves as the UIL Coordinator at Temple High, and coaches prose and poetry interpretation and literary criticism. She has had seven students advance to the state finals for prose/poetry.

In International Thespian Society competition, she has had over 100 students advance from state to the international contest. Her students have been named International Champions seven times -- Scenic Design (2010), Sound Design (2010), Theatre Marketing (2009), Stage Management (2009), Publicity Design (2008), Group Musical (2008) and Scenic Design (2004).

At the 2010 Texas State Thespian Festival, she had three students perform in the All State Show. Only one other high school in the entire state had more students in the cast. She has nine events advance to the international competition, her troupe was named an "all-star troupe," and her students won first place in team set design.

Mrs. Tolleson's former students have furthered their theatre education at the University of Evansville, New York University, Emerson, UCLA, University of North Carolina, Julliard, Duke, Webster, Marymount Manhattan, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University, University of Texas, Texas State University, Sam Houston, American Academy of Dramatic Art New York, Brigham Young University and many others. Temple High School graduates are working professionally in such cities as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, including Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago) and other live theatre, television, movies, MTV and "The Whitest Kids U'Know" comedy sketch troupe.

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.

In 2011, she was named one of the Top 15 Sponsors by the University Interscholastic League. According to the UIL, the award was, "created to identify and recognize outstanding sponsors who enable students to develop and refine their extracurricular talents to the highest degree possible within the educational system."



Technical Director & Assistant Director
Carlen Gilseth

Theatre Instructor, Lights & Sound Teacher
Kayla Stewart



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

Natasha Tolleson
(254) 215-7036

Technical Director
& Assistant Director
Carlen Gilseth
(254) 215-7302

Theatre Instructor,
Lights & Sound Teacher
Kayla Stewart
(254) 215-7112


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25 Years

Temple's UIL One-Act Play team has been the District Co-Champion for 25 years in a row (as of March 2017). No other UIL team at Temple High holds such a record.

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2015-2016 Highlights

Texas UIL 5A State Finals
One-Act Play Competition
(Out of over 250 schools)

3rd Place in Texas, Div. 2
UIL Dramatic Design Group

3rd Place & 6th Place
Individual Entries in
UIL Dramatic Design

Texas Thespians,
All-Star Troupe
(one of seven in Texas)

Seven Events Advance to
International Competition

Three Students Participate in
All-State Show (Big Fish) 

2014-2015 Highlights

International Thespian
Champion, Theatre Marketing

Texas Thespians,
All-Star Troupe
(one of four in Texas)

Six Events Advance to
International Competition

Three Students Selected for
All-State Show (Big Fish) 
Cast and Crew

Natasha Tolleson named to
Texas Thespian Hall of Fame

Second Runner-Up
Texas UIL 5A State Finals
One-Act Play Competition
(Out of over 250 schools)

2013-2014 Highlights

International Thespian
Champion, Film

Texas Thespians,
Main Stage Performance
The Secret Garden

11 Events Advance to
International Competition

10 Students Advance
to State Finals in
UIL Theatrical Design
(2nd Highest Number of
Any School in Texas)

Texas Top 12, UIL 5A
One-Act Play Competition
(Out of 257 schools)

Texas State Champion
UIL Film Contest
Division 2, Narrative

Texas State Champion
UIL Group
Theatrical Design

2nd Place in Texas,
UIL Set Design

4th Place in Texas,
UIL Marketing Design