Students at Northwest School of the Arts will perform a fully staged production of Oprah Winfrey's Broadway hit “The Color Purple,” becoming only the second high school in the nation to claim that distinction.
Up until now, a school in Atlanta was the only other high school to receive permission from Theatrical Rights Worldwide, which issues a license to any group seeking to perform the play.
The NWSA performance is set for Sept. 14 -16 at Central Piedmont Community College's Halton Theatre. Tickets prices will range from $12 to $15.
Corey Mitchell, the school's director, said NWSA students have never put on a show so large so early in the school year. He said the students will get an assist from former Broadway cast members, local celebrities and other professionals with an interest in the show.
Mitchell said the school paid $5,000 to secure rights to the show. In addition, he said, it will cost nearly $15,000 to rent Halton Theatre and nearly $6,000 to rent original sets and Broadway costumes, not to mention the costs for professional outside staff.
Mitchell said the show will provide minority students with a chance to play lead roles in a major production.
Keston Steele, a rising junior, will play the role of Celie.
“With this show, I felt there was a better opportunity for me to be cast in the lead,” Keston said in statement released by the school district. “You think about shows like “West Side Story” and you want to be cast in the lead, but the show still has to be realistic.”
Ticket may be purchased here or by calling the CPCC Box Office at 704-330-6534.