The Theatre Department at Western Harnett High School is celebrating after being honored at the 2019 North Carolina Theatre Conference High School Play Festival held earlier this month at Union Pines High School.
The theater program, led by Rebecca Finchum, presented two shows and the play “4 A.M.” at the festival, bringing home the following awards: Festival Spirit Award, Best Nightmares for “4 A.M.” and a Barbizon Design and Lighting Award for Excellence in Stage Management for Dakota Brown.
This year, 3,000 students from 87 schools performed 119 plays at eight regional sites. The top 16 productions were invited to perform at the NCTC State High School Play Festival, Nov. 21-22 at Greensboro College.
Participating schools travel to their regional festival sites with theatrical sets, costumes, and props. Each show loads in to a 10-foot by 10-foot backstage area. When their time comes, each school group has 45 minutes to set up, performing the play, and clear the stage. Following their performance, students receive feedback from professional actors and directors with Broadway and Hollywood credits.
Awards are given for acting, design, technical craft, ensemble work and festival spirit.
“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 theater friends,” said NCTC Executive Director Angie Hays.
For over 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. It is the largest high school theater event in the Southeast, and has been replicated in nine other states.
The NCTC High School Play Festival is made possible with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; Ecolab; Lincoln Financial Group; The Beattie Foundation; the Moore County Unrestricted Endowment Fund; Barbizon Lighting Company; and Charlotte Center City.
About the NC Theatre Conference
The mission of NCTC is to strengthen North Carolina’s vibrant theater industry, and engage tomorrow’s artists, audiences and advocates. NCTC has served as the leader of the statewide theater industry since 1970, and produces several events throughout the year, including the NCTC Producing Gathering, NCTC College Discovery Day, the NCTC Theatre Admin Intensive, the NCTC Awards and statewide NCTC Middle School and High School Play Festivals.
For more information on NCTC, contact Executive Director Angie Hays at 336-369-1984 or visit www.nctc.org.
For more information on Western Harnett High School’s Drama Department, contact Rebecca Finchum.