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NWSA's 'Color Purple': Nebraska or bust

It’s official: The Northwest School of the Arts’ cast of “The Color Purple” will be heading to Nebraska this June.

That wasn’t always a certainty – the 75-member cast and crew had to raise about $131,000 to attend the International Thespian Festival, held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Corey Mitchell, the musical’s director, said that money from the private sector, including Grant Thornton and Wells Fargo, and a contribution from the Arts & Science Council, helped the students reach their lofty goal.

Allyson Siegel, who lives near Northwest and who is the executive vice president of Tru-Pak Moving Systems Inc. (which is hauling equipment for the cast free), said the people of west Charlotte also stepped up to help.

“I spoke to many corporations, high power philanthropists and in the end, it was mainly people who opened up their own pocket books to help the kids further their education,” she wrote in an email.

Getting invited to the International Thespian Festival is a big deal: The last time a North Carolina school was invited to the festival – just 10 schools from across the nation attend each year – was 33 years ago.

Besides performances, the students would attend a weeklong educational conference where college recruiters will scout talent and offer scholarships.

Ruebens: 704-358-5294
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