Troupe Earns Top Honors At NCTC

Thespians named top performance at annual state-wide competition at Greensboro College

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Nov. 18-19, our advanced actors group, also known as Troupe, performed in the North Carolina theater conference (NCTC) state finals. They performed two, 45 minute shows called Elephant’s Graveyard and The Complete History of Theatre Abridged. Out of 16 shows, they were chosen as the top performance at Greensboro College. 

Several of our students won awards and scholarships that totaled more than $60,000. However, preparing for the show wasn’t easy.

While rehearsing for the show the students practiced constantly.

“We rehearsed a lot in class. Day in, day out,” junior Alaina Johncour said. “Sometimes I would even stay during second period in our theatre teacher’s classroom just so we could really get the fast-paced parts of the show really down-pat.” 

Students were expected to sacrifice other commitments.

“I didn’t sleep for a month and a half,” senior Drewy Whitfield said.

While the actors were practicing their performance, work was happening behind the scenes as well.

“We had more rehearsals before the state competition, and we really focused on the details,” crew member junior Ollie Friesen said.

The hard work paid off by the time the performances were done, which showed through the awards.

“They told me that they wanted to offer me a scholarship, and I was just like gobsmacked,” Johncour said. 

Students also won prizes regarding their acting, such as senior Caleb Van Doornewaard who won an award for Excellence in Acting.

“It means a lot because I’ve been doing theater for about 12 years now, so to finally get recognition for something that I’ve been doing for a while. Especially on a big stage like NCTC. It was very rewarding,” Van Doornewaard said.

Performing hasn’t always come easy to the students. They’ve learned how to look to others for help.

“I had a lot more training now and made more friends who will help me whenever I need help,” junior Allie Sharpe said.

For some students working with others has helped build their confidence. 

“I’ve sort of been around people who are telling me that ‘oh you are good at this,’ and it feels like something that I can learn easily, and something that I can pick up easily, which is really exciting,” Friesen said. 

Johncour remarks on how much she has improved over the years. 

“Last year I got accepted into the advanced acting class, which is also known as troupe, and ever since then, the people and the community that class has brought is like so uplifting, and I’ve really grown into the person that I am in the last year because of it,” Johncour said.

Whitfield looks to make theater a career. 

“I plan on doing a musical theater program at whatever college I get into, and then further continuing it on Broadway or movies and TV,” Whitfield said.

Tech members are also looking into their future.

“I would actually like to go to college for stage management and do that professionally,” Friesen said.

Even if students aren’t planning on doing theatre in the future, they have gained much wisdom and advice in pursuing the art.

“Keep your eye on the prize and make sure you know what is important to you now vs what you really want in the end goal,” Sharpe said.

Johncour says that bravery and confidence is the most important thing of all.

“Take the leap. It might seem like a really wide gap, but I promise you it’s an optical illusion, and there are people on the other side who are going to catch you,” Johncour said. “Because theatre, especially the place and community that Ms. Rendina has built, is full of people with open arms, just waiting to welcome you to the community.