South Charlotte

Porter Ridge hosts theater regional competition

Amber Grant, who won a playwriting award, stands with adjudicators at the N.C. Theatre Conference, from left, Michelle Long, Grant and Beth Murray.
Amber Grant, who won a playwriting award, stands with adjudicators at the N.C. Theatre Conference, from left, Michelle Long, Grant and Beth Murray.

Porter Ridge High School hosted the North Carolina Theatre Conference regional competition of the High School Play Festival Nov. 6-7.

They also landed lots of awards. The lost includes:

▪ Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting awarded to Amber Grant.

▪ Excellence in Set Design awarded to Ellen Snelson and Madeline Traywick.

▪ Excellence in Ensemble Performance.

▪ Outstanding Achievement in Directing awarded to Jessica Briggs, Porter Ridge theatre teacher.

▪ Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Production and Movement.

The script, “The Doe Files,” which Porter Ridge used, was written by Amber Grant, a 16-year old junior. The 45-minute play is about 16 runaways over four decades.

“The play goes through different hardships that they would face,” Grant said. “The runaways run away for different reasons based on the decade. Like one runs away to be in a cult. Another runaway was abandoned by their family during the Depression.”

Grant also is writing a Berlin Wall script that will be performed in April. She plans to work on novels and has the outline for 10 different books.

“The theatre classes are definitely the best thing that’s happened in my life,” Grant said. “It’s basically the reason I want to go to school every day.”

“It was rewarding for my students to spend so much time and effort on both hosting and preparing for our one act show. It was also bittersweet to not get passed onto the next round,” said Briggs, who has been at Porter Ridge for ten years. “I am proud of my theatre students for doing such a great job hosting the North Carolina Theatre Conference and producing a fantastic one act play.”

Four more plays are planned during the school year.

“The theater department at Porter Ridge has made my daughter blossom under the direction of Mrs. Briggs, she is no longer shy,” said Reyn Payne, whose daughter Elise is a junior involved in the theatre program” “She demands the best of each student and helps them achieve their best potential.”

Other Union County schools also took part in the event, including Sun Valley, Cuthbertson, Central Academy of Technology and Arts and Piedmont. The Mecklenburg County schools included Olympic and Butler.

Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer: kimbecknellwilliams@gmail.com.

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