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Union Academy Honored at the 2019 NCTC High School Play Festival

November 12, 2019 – The Theatre Department at Union Academy is celebrating after being honored at the 2019 NCTC High School Play Festival, held at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square in Charlotte, NC on November 8-9. The theatre program, led by Ashley Steele, presented I and You and Greek Mythology Olympiaganza at the Festival, and brought home the following awards: Excellence in Comedic Execution - Greek Mythology Olympiaganza; Outstanding Achievement in Acting - Kiser Shelton; Outstanding Achievement in Acting - Lindsay Wheeler; Excellence in Directing - Ashley Steele; Audience Choice for State Competition - I and You

UA actors, Kiser Shelton and Lindsay Wheeler, received the only two Outstanding Achievement in Acting awards earning them scholarships to College Discovery Day. Their two-person play I and You by Laura Gunderson was selected to perform at the state competition and is a first for UA. The State High School Play Festival will take place at Greensboro College on November 21-22 and feature 16 schools from across the state who placed at their specific regional events.

Lindsay Wheeler explained, “This is the best experience I’ve ever had. Being able to compete against schools that are so competitive in their arts programs proved to me how talented our students really are. It will always be one of the most special times in my life.”

This year, 3,000 students from 87 schools are performing 121 plays at 8 regional sites. The top 16 productions are invited to perform at the NCTC State High School Play Festival, November 21-22 at Greensboro College.

“It’s so fun to be surrounded by theater kids who love what they do. Watching shows performed by other schools all day offers amazing insight to theater in our community.I am honored to be moving on to the state level competition,” stated Kiser Shelton.

Participating schools travel to their regional festival sites with theatrical sets, costumes, and props. Each show loads in to a 10’x10’ backstage area. When their time comes, each school group has 45 minutes to set up, performing the play, and clear the stage. Following their performance, students receive feedback from professional actors and directors with Broadway and Hollywood credits.

Awards are given for acting, design, technical craft, ensemble work, and festival spirit.

“We are very fortunate to attend the NCTC Play Festival and perform with some of the best performers in our area. The competition gives our students the opportunity to form relationships with students from other schools in a competitive yet fun and educational setting,” stated Steele. “The students have worked tirelessly to prepare and many tears were shed when they learned they are the first theatre group from Union Academy to advance to the state level.” 

For over 30 years, the NCTC High School Play Festival has strengthened arts education in schools by bringing curriculum to life, challenging students to do their very best work, and contributing to the development of future audiences for live performing arts. The program was named one of the “Top High School Theatre Festivals” by Stage Directions Magazine. It is the largest high school theatre event in the Southeast, and has been replicated in 9 other states.

The NCTC High School Play Festival is made possible with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; Ecolab; Lincoln Financial Group; The Beattie Foundation; the Moore County Unrestricted Endowment Fund; Barbizon Lighting Company; and Charlotte Center City.

About the North Carolina Theatre Conference

The mission of NCTC is to strengthen North Carolina’s vibrant theatre industry, and engage tomorrow’s artists, audiences and advocates. NCTC has served as the leader of the statewide theatre industry since 1970, and produces several events throughout the year, including the NCTC Producing Gathering, NCTC College Discovery Day, the NCTC Theatre Admin Intensive, the NCTC Awards and statewide NCTC Middle School and High School Play Festivals.

For more information on NCTC, please contact Executive Director Angie Hays at 336-369-1984 or visit www.nctc.org.