In addition to a superior rating, the O’Neal Players also received Excellence in Ensemble Acting, and Excellence in Physical Composition. Mrs. Osborne herself received Excellence in Directing. O’Neal junior Xander Furs was recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Acting. Sophomore Ricky Mullis received the Barbizon Excellence Award in Design & Production for Lighting and Sound Design. Sophomore Savannah Campbell was recognized for Excellence in Acting.
“I am very proud of how well my O'Neal students performed,” says director Judy Osborne. “It was a great festival with many wonderful shows, so to be honored with these awards means a great deal. These students represented their school in the best possible way. I am also very grateful to NCTC for working to make sure that high school theaters across NC had this opportunity to perform for each other live and in person.”
The 35-minute version of three Grimm fairy tales – “Rumpelstiltskin”, “Rapunzel”, and “Red Riding Hood” is filled with puns, pratfalls and audience engagement lending itself to a production full of enchantment and entertainment.
This year, over 1,500 students from 71 schools are performing 89 plays at 7 regional sites.
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 has 45 minutes to set up, perform 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've worked hard to cultivate a spirit of community at the Play Festival, where students learn from each other and celebrate each other's work. They leave with new friends, feeling energized and inspired," said NCTC Executive Director Angie Hays.
For 50 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 the 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; Lincoln Financial Group; The Beattie Foundation; Barbizon Lighting Company; Rockingham County Community Foundation; Church Interiors Audio Video; and Strand Lighting.
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 Day, the NCTC Theatre Admin Intensive, the NCTC Awards and statewide NCTC Middle School and High School Play Festivals.