North Carolina Theater Conference Comes to WHS

Published Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Oct. 31, 2012. Watauga High School will welcome more than 250 high school actors from 11 different schools at the annual North Carolina Theatre Conference Regional High School Play Festival this Friday and Saturday Nov. 2 and 3.

The high school’s honors acting class, the Pioneer Playmakers, along with more than 80 volunteers, will help run 14 one-act plays over the course of the two days. The entire festival is free and will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day in the Ross Auditorium.

“The WHS Playmakers have participated in the festival since 1988,” says their director and drama teacher, Sarah Miller, “and we’re honored to have the opportunity to give back to NCTC by hosting this regional competition.”

NCTC is a statewide high school theatre competition that allows 80+ schools to produce over 110 plays in two separate weekend regional competitions. This weekend will be WHS’s first time hosting one of the competitions.

Principal Marshall Gasperson says, “WHS is pleased and proud to support the arts by having NCTC on campus. We hope to have a large turnout from the community to support these young people and all their hard work.”

Over the past 24 years, the Playmakers have been awarded close to two dozen Superior Ratings from NCTC, and twice over the years, they have gone on to win State Championships, making this group one of the most successful drama departments in western N.C.

“We’re so pleased to have other schools come to our state-of-the-art facilities,” says drama teacher Greg Pope. “Technically, we are well equipped to host this competition.”

The new WHS opened in the fall of 2010, making the new Ross Auditorium one of the premiere stages in this part of the state.

For the competition, schools have exactly 45 minutes to set up their play, perform it, and then move all sets, people, and materials off the stage space. Shows will take place approximately every 75 minutes, with about 30 minutes between productions for judges, who are regional theatre professionals, to give the performers verbal critiques.

At the end of the festival, multiple awards are given out in such categories as Best Actor, Best Ensemble and a variety of technical awards.

Senior Playmaker Michael Navarro says, “The Playmakers are really excited to see the end result of all our hard work and planning over the past few months. We hope the students from other high schools will enjoy being here and we really look forward to performing our own play for other schools.”

WHS will perform their show, “Schuld,” an original script by the Playmakers themselves, at 8:30 a.m. on Sat., Nov. 3. “Schuld,” set concurrently in 1944 and 1964, explores the fallout from the cover up of a terrible accident in a small farming community in Nebraska during WWII. “It’s a pretty serious play,” says Ms. Miller, “and the students just do a phenomenal job bringing home the emotion of the WWII home front in 1944.”

Prior to their weekend performance, the Playmakers will give a required preview performance on Tues., Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in Ross Auditorium. Admission to the preview is $5, with proceeds going to the drama department.

“The Playmakers would like to thank all the businesses and community members who are supporting us in this endeavor,” says Ms. Miller.

The Playmakers would like to thanks these businesses for helping with the Hospitality Room:

Back Yard Bakery, Rebecca Kaenzig, Bandana’s Bar-B-Que & Grill, Chick-fil-A, Come Back Shack, Earth Fare, Galileo’s Restaurant, Harris Teeter, Hospitality Mints, Ingles, Lowes Foods, Mint Indian Cuisine, Panera Bread, Stick Boy Bread Co., Tar Heel Capital Corp. & Wendy’s and Walmart.

The Playmakers would like to thank these local businesses for sponsoring their NCTC Staff Tee Shirts: Boone Bagelry, Blue Ridge Community Theatre, Incredible Toy Company, Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, m-prints Inc., Screenprinting and Embroidery, WJ Office.

The Playmakers and WHS would like to thank these local businesses for their financial support of NCTC: Casey & Casey Law Offices, PLLC, First Citizens Bank, LifeStore Banking and Insurance, Wells Fargo. Thanks to Precision Printing, Inc. and Precision Signs for printing programs and signs for NCTC.

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