Thespians collect food through TOTSKE

Kris Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

Instead of putting on a spooky performance, Manhattan High Thespians take time around Halloween every year to give back to their community. The club participated in TOTSKE — Trick-or-Treat so kids can eat — on Friday to collect food for Flint Hills Breadbasket, which they have been doing for about a decade.

TOTSKE is a nation-wide event where Thespians go from door to door in Halloween costumes asking for non-perishable food donations. They made some changes to the long-standing tradition this year, however.

“This year, a few days before, we went through and picked out what neighborhoods we wanted to go by, and then put info slips and paper bags there, so that people could be prepared for us before we went there dressed up as random things knocking on their door,” Glasscock. “Because that is a little bit weird, especially on a night that is not Halloween for that to happen.”

They typically collect between 100 and 200 food items, and have exceeded that amount this year. So far they have counted over 500 items to be donated.

“This year we used a lot better organization. We contacted people beforehand, made sure that it wasn’t spur of the moment, got out people together for groups to go to different neighborhoods and that help a lot in making sure that we were able to make this a more efficient operation as opposed to just going around and knocking on doors,” Glasscock said. “And it helps make sure that this is a more effective use of our people’s time as well as helping the bread basket have more food items available to them.”

Each troupe member chooses their own costume, and the choices range from scary to eccentric. This year included ghosts, ghouls, TV character and a nun.

“I dressed up as a rip-off Frank Senatra one who cannot sing,” Glasscock said. “It’s always just whatever people want to put together, sometimes we do themes but this year we decided against it because it’s a little bit more cliquey than we want.”

Along with helping their community, TOTSKE serves as a bonding experience for the Thespians troupe members. 

“Being able to talk with people, a lot of interesting conversations have happened over the years,” Glasscock said. “There’ve been a lot of weird conversations during TOTSKE, and I think that it’s a good way for people to bond… and it’s a bonding experience when you’re stuck in a car in hot sweaty costumes to just bond with your fellow Thespians.”