Charlotte-area schools win at N.C. play festival

Northwest School of the Arts and Central Academy of Technology & Arts won the Distinguished Play awards at the N.C. Theatre Conference State High School Play Festival, Nov. 21-22 at Greensboro College. The two schools will represent North Carolina at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Alabama in March.

Northwest was the judges’ choice for “The Rimers of Eldritch”; Central Academy was the audience choice for “The Parchman Hour.” Northwest’s Mekhai Lee and Central Academy’s Samantha Jackson, male and female winners for outstanding achievement in acting, were offered a $30,000 scholarship to Greensboro College; and $20,000 scholarships to Lenoir-Rhyne University and Catawba College.

Northwest’s Lauren Pennebaker won a $30,000 Greensboro College scholarship for outstanding achievement in student design and production (costume design). Kianna Balla of Hickory Ridge High, who won for outstanding achievement in student design and production (stage management), was offered a $20,000 scholarship to Catawba College.

State winners for excellence: Ardrey Kell – overall set design; Tucker Brooks, acting; Eric Duncan, technical direction, light and sound design. Butler – properties design; Luis Galdemez, sound design. Central Academy – Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, acting; Chapin Silberquit, projection design; David Moberg and Elijah Inuwa, musical arrangements. Charlotte Christian – Evan Ector and Haley Putnam, acting. Hickory Ridge – Anthony Messina, sound design; Ben Spring, acting. Lake Norman – production design; Kayla Gallagher, acting. Northwest – Haley Rassette, stage management, lighting design. Northwest Cabarrus – Hannah Nunn, acting. Porter Ridge – ensemble acting; Claire Ave’Lallemant, direction.

The NCTC High School Play Festival began with eight regional festivals that featured about 3,000 students from 94 schools in 128 productions. Sixteen of these schools were selected to advance to the state festival, which featured the top two productions from each of the regional sites.

Reid Creager