The Theatre Department at Chapel Hill High School has much to celebrate, as they brought home honors from the 2015 North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) High School Play Festival, held at Wake Forest High School on November 6. The theatre program, led by Thomas Drago, made the school and community proud with their presentation of “Selfie” at the Festival, and is thrilled to bring home the following awards: “Selfie” – Rating: Superior; Excellence in Projection Design; Excellence in Acting – Samantha Lane.
For more than 30 years, the NCTC High School Play Festival has strengthened arts education in schools by bringing curriculum to life, challenging students to do their very best work, and contributing to the development of future audiences for live performing arts. The program was named one of the “Top High School Theatre Festivals” by Stage Directions Magazine, is the largest high school theatre event in the Southeast, and has been replicated in nine other states. This year, 3,000 students from 90 schools performed 118 plays!
Each fall, professional theatres, colleges and high schools across the state host a regional Festival, and the top two outstanding productions from each of the eight sites advance to the NCTC State High School Play Festival, November 19-20 at Greensboro College. Winners there go on to represent the state of North Carolina at the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s annual convention, which will be in Greensboro in 2016.
The atmosphere at the Play Festival is positive and exciting, and students are filled with energy as they watch shows, learn from their peers and make new theatre friends. Schools travel with theatrical sets and load-in to a 10’x10’ backstage area. Before their 45 minute time limit begins, students eagerly await hearing the starting phrase, “Your time begins NOW!”, to which they respond with an enthusiastic reply. The 45 minute time limit includes setting up, performing the play and clearing the stage. Following their performance, students join their peers in the cheering audience to receive feedback from professional actors and directors with Broadway and Hollywood credits. Actors, designers, writers, directors and teachers are celebrated, and bring home awards that are displayed beside school sports trophies.
The NCTC High School Play Festival is made possible with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources; The Beattie Foundation; Lincoln Financial Group; the Moore County Unrestricted Endowment Fund; and Barbizon Lighting Company.