Theater students advance to state competition

WF's "Touching Tomorrow" among only two performances from the district to advance

The+cast+and+crew+of+the+two+WF+entries+into+NCTC+pose+in+the+auditorium.+

The cast and crew of the two WF entries into NCTC pose in the auditorium.

Colleen Michaels & Allyson Freeman, staff writers

In medieval times troupes of actors traveled from town to town, entertaining the local citizens.

Nov. 6 and 7, Wake Forest hosted some travelling high school drama students at the North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC).

WF performed two plays, “Touching Tomorrow” and “The Elvis People.”

Over the course of two days, 15 performances from 11 schools took place. Amongst these, “Touching Tomorrow,” by playwright Gillian Plowman advanced to state finals.

Only two shows advance to states. Hoggard High School’s performance of “Psychoneurotic Phantasies” by Gilbert David Feke also advanced.

“They loved the acting. The actors, everything was on queue for them, which is why we are moving on,” said technical theatre teacher Tim Domack.

“Touching Tomorrow” deals with the sensitive issues of cognitive deficiency and rape, making our advancement in the conference a difficult challenge.

“When you get a standing ovation and people are crying because of our ability to put on such a touching show, it’s the most amazing feeling,” senior Kaitlin Grigg said.

In addition to the audience’s reaction, the play won numerous awards from the judges. It won the Distinguished Play award, and the Drama Department head Marie Jones was honored as Outstanding Director.

The sound and lighting crew of junior Teegan Krieger and seniors Nick Anderson and Grace Pulliam had been creating sound and lighting cues for all the schools competing. They had spent 12 hours in the booth on Friday and 15 hours on Saturday.

For his efforts with “Touching Tomorrow” Krieger was honored with the award for Excellence in Lighting and Design. Also among the crew, senior Luke Martinson earned honors for Excellence in Stage Management and Carpentry also for “Tomorrow.”

Senior Jada Hester earned additional honors for her behind-the-scenes work on “Tomorrow.” Hester earned Excellence in Production Management.

Hester said the honor made her feel, “Super awesome” for she was unaware that adviser Jones had nominated her.

“It was a big shock, but felt rewarding because I worked really hard,” Hester said.

Senior Elisha McNeil also earned Outstanding Achievement in Acting for his role of Vincent in “Tomorrow.”

Although not advancing to states, “The Elvis People” by Doug Grissom was also honored with several awards at the conference.

Seniors Julia Foster and Erin White were honored with Excellence in Costume Design, while Foster and senior Eric Mullen earned Excellence in Acting honors.

Foster reflected on the chemistry between the actors of “Elvis” as a great strength of the performance.

“I think the community of it, like, the way that everyone was working together. It was interesting because their characters didn’t really know each other, but the way they worked together was perfect,” Foster said.

The award of Excellence in Directing was also given to Kian Fonicello and Kenzie Weeks for “The Elvis People.”

Actors and crew of “Touching Tomorrow” will next perform at Greensboro College Nov. 19 and 20 at the state-level competition.

Jones said in an email to the staff, “This is equivalent to the state playoffs in athletics.”