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High School Theater Awards
Congratulations to Hickory Ridge High School and Northwest Cabarrus High School theatre students on their participation in the North Carolina Theatre Conference State High School Play Festival on November 17th and 18th in Greensboro.
Northwest’s performance of Aunt Leaf by Barbara Wiechmann earned director Andrea Rassler and her students the Festival Spirit Award, Excellence in Characterization, Excellence in Stage, and the management award for Victoria Spencer.
Hickory Ridge’s production of The Yellow Boat by David Saar was led by director Ian Sullivan. The Hickory Ridge students won Festival Spirit, Excellence in Audience Interaction, and Excellence in Stage Management for Madisyn Mullins.
The NCTC High School Play Festival program showcases the talent of more than 3,500 students from 100+ schools, in over 130 productions. The Festival gives schools from all across the state the opportunity to share their talents and celebrate their collective achievements.
Each fall, schools travel to regional Festivals for two days of performance and celebration. Select plays from each of the regional Festivals advance to the NCTC State High School Play Festival, which is affectionately known as the “State Football Championships of Theatre.” The top 2 shows at the State Festival go on to a national Festival.
Hickory Ridge High School Theatre
The Yellow Boat by David Saar
Director: Ian Sullivan
The story of The Yellow Boat is a glorious affirmation of a child's life and the strength and courage of all children. This dramatization is based on the true story of David and Sonja Saar's son, Benjamin, who was born with congenital hemophilia and died in 1987 at the age of 8 of AIDS-related complications. A uniquely gifted visual artist, Benjamin's buoyant imagination transformed his physical and emotional pain into a blaze of colors and shapes in his fanciful drawings and paintings. A Scandinavian folksong tells of three little boats: "One was blue, one was red, and one was yellow as the sun. They sailed far out to sea. The blue one returned to the harbor. The red one sailed home, too. But the yellow boat sailed up to the sun." Benjamin always concluded his bedtime ritual by saying, "Mom, you can be the red boat or the blue boat, but I am the yellow boat." Benjamin's remarkable voyage continues to touch audiences around the world.
Northwest Cabarrus High School Theatre
Aunt Leaf by Barbara Wiechmann
Director: Andrea Rassler
It is 1910. Annabelle, a quiet 11-year-old, and her depressed and lonely great-aunt Leaf develop a secret ritual of storytelling. Each night the old lady sends the child into the woods to look for the ghost of her dead husband. Each night the girl brings back stories—made-up "proof" of her uncle—to cheer up the old woman. Annabelle's fibs grow into stories, and her stories grow into tall tales. As she wanders deeper into the forest each night, she soon comes to believe her own stories are true. The shared adventure, both dangerous and hopeful, serves as a dual passage for the child into adolescence and the old woman into a more peaceful death. A tale from the dark woods of the Hudson River Valley—and the darker woods of the imagination.