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The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

Setting the stage: Sami Hengstenberg advances to state for her set design.

Sami Hengstenberg
Sami’s state-qualifying set design for Hadestown.

FRISCO, TEXAS — Centennial High School’s very own Sami Hengstenberg has qualified for the state technical UIL competition, an honor shared by only twelve other students in the state of Texas. 


The University Interscholastic League, familiarly known as UIL, provides Texas students the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities at a competitive level. This year, theatre students across the state of Texas competed in the technical UIL competition, submitting set designs, costume designs, marketing plans, and hair/makeup designs. Sami, a sophomore student, submitted a set design that will be presented in Austin, Texas at the state competition on May 11th, 2024. 


Completing a submission is a feat of its own, as it’s a highly intricate process that requires far more than meets the eye. Sami shared, “We began working on our projects in November, and had to submit them by February 16th. The majority of the process was taken up by building the model which displayed my design. I also needed to make a justification, inspiration board, prompt address, ground plan, transition video, and take pictures of the model.”


Each year, UIL decides on a production that all of the participants must use for their designs. Although everyone utilizes the same show for their designs, the vision a student has for the production can greatly impact the final product


“The beginning vision for my design varied largely from the end result, I had to make many decisions to change my design for the better. One of the largest changes I made to my design was how the wall was built and how it opened up to reveal the underworld. I realized that my original plan would not have worked the way I had planned because the wall was too thick in the original plan.”


Sami’s design features a large wall, resembling cobblestone, that during the show, opens up to reveal the underworld, complete with a thematic backdrop and lighting. Even after being opened, the wall serves functional and aesthetic purposes and expands upon another element of the story, a feature that highlights the attention paid to every last aspect of Sami’s design. 


“The most difficult part of creating my design was building and adding all of the little details to it. This was difficult and took the longest amount of time, but I had the most fun adding the little details out of everything else I did. It was a very tedious process because I wanted to make it perfect, but it was worth it.”

From now until the competition, Sami will be able to add the finishing touches to her presentation, ensuring that her product in Austin is the best it can be. In only her sophomore year, Sami has already made Centennial High School theater history, and she is thrilled to be showing Texas what she is capable of in May.

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About the Contributor
Lillian Treat
Lillian Treat, Reporter
Hi everybody! My name is Lilly and I am a junior at Centennial High School. I am vice president of Titan Theatre and love to be involved in various theatre productions at our school. I am so excited to be a part of the Titan Times and I'm looking forward to a great year!