WCU to host 300 students for High School Play Festival Nov. 6-7

Some 300 students from the mountains and piedmont of North Carolina will be judged on their theatrical skills as Western Carolina University hosts a western regional competition of the North Carolina Theatre Conference’s High School Play Festival on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7.

Student teams representing 11 high schools will have 45 minutes to get set up on the stage in WCU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, present their plays, and get off the stage. The teams can present either one or two plays over the two-day festival. “It is a very fast-paced and intense two days of competition,” said Peter Savage, acting instructor in WCU’s department of stage and screen, and coordinator for the event.

Two adjudicators will watch each play and judge the performance aspects of the productions, giving particular attention to the quality of the acting and directing. A variety of awards, including two Distinguished Play Awards, will be presented during a ceremony at 8 p.m. Nov. 7. School teams that capture Distinguished Play Awards will be invited to compete in the 2009 NCTC State High School Play Festival, which will be held at Greensboro College on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 19-20.

All the performances are open to the public free of charge. Those attending the festival should park in the Fine and Performing Arts Center parking lot. The full schedule is listed with play titles:

FRIDAY, NOV. 6

10 a.m. – Mountain Heritage High School (Yancey) – “Quilters”
11 a.m. – Polk County High School – “The Terezin Promise”
12 p.m. – Hendersonville High School (Henderson) – “Once I Built a Tower”
2 p.m. – Foard High School (Catawba) – “MmmBeth”
3 p.m. – Watauga High School – “Elegy”
4 p.m. – Mountain Heritage High – “His Eyes Are Bland”
5 p.m. – Foard High – “Hamlette”
6 p.m. – North Gaston High School – “Medusa’s Tale”

SATURDAY, NOV. 7

9 a.m. – Kings Mountain High School (Cleveland) – “Graveyard Cleaning-Off Day”
10 a.m. – Ashbrook High School (Gaston) – “15 NeoFuturist Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind”
11 a.m. – West Henderson High School – “I Know the Truth”
12 p.m. – South Point High School (Gaston) – “Aladino”
2 p.m. – St. Stephens High School (Catawba) – “EVEryman”
3 p.m. – Ashbrook High – “The Bear”
4 p.m. – North Gaston High – “The Most Massive Woman Wins”
5 p.m. – Kings Mountain High – “S.P.A.R.”

For more information about the competition or WCU’s department of stage and screen, contact Savage at (828) 227-2092 or by e-mail at psavage@wcu.edu.