Thespians Advance To State Competition

Their performance of The Complete History of Theater Abridged earned the right to complete at the NCTC statewide competition


The North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) held its annual regional competition the weekend of Nov. 4-5. The theater students attended, where some won awards for their strengths in acting and managing the stage performances.

Theater teacher Kristin Rendina goes in depth on what the actors and actresses did at the competition and how well they performed their shows. 

“There are seven different regional competitions and 16 shows at each site. We were chosen top show out of the 16 and will advance to states. We actually took two different shows,” Rendina said. “One was The Elephant’s Graveyard, which is like a tragedy. That was actually the adjudicators’ number one pick until we did our comedy. We kind of beat ourselves, which was kind of cool. So it’s called The Complete History of Theater Abridged, and that is the play that advanced to state.”

With such an outstanding performance, one can only imagine the world Rendina and the students had to go through to impress the adjudicators.

“It was a lot of preparation. We were also doing The Man Who Came to Dinner while we were learning those two other scripts, so we were mainly just in here (the theater classroom) every single day. We would do Elephant’s Graveyard sometimes, and then we would do The Complete History of Theater Abridged sometimes. We would just consistently rehearse it every single day, and then I would go home and go over my scripts and like listen to my lines,” senior Caleb Van Doornewaard said.

Junior Allie Sharpe  explains her preparation for becoming the role she played.

“I did a lot of characterization and thought about the physicality of the character. I tried to make a connection with an animal I’ve never seen in real life, and to make a connection with an idea rather than a physical being,” Sharpe said.

Sharpe won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting. 

“I felt very surprised. I felt I was validated for all my hard work on the show,” Sharpe said.

The award not only gave Sharpe validation, but it also gave her a push start on her future as an actress.

“I got a scholarship for a college fair day where I can showcase a monologue to college representatives. I can show them what I have to offer, and what I learned, which will help me get out into the field a little bit more,” Sharpe said.

Van Doornewaard also believes he will be benefiting from his Excellence in Acting award in the near future. 

“I think being able to say that I won an award in acting would benefit me greatly in the acting department, because if I present the award and say that I won this, then it’ll be more likely that I’m to get accepted for either acting roles or into colleges with listing the awards that I’ve won,” Van Doornewaard said.

As there were 16 other acts, one can probably guess how nervous the theater students were in their attempt to impress the judges.

“Seeing all the other amazing shows, and like hearing the notes from those and trying to apply those to us. It’s kind of like you’re changing your show to what the adjudicators would prefer, but also while keeping to what you rehearsed. It’s very nerve-wracking trying to put on the proper show kind of,” Van Doornewaard said.

As one can see, the students did an amazing job on stage; however, the work being done back-stage should be admired as well. Junior Ollie Friesen won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Stage Management.

“I was surprised. At first she called up the stage manager, and I didnt expect to win, and I had just assumed that she had won. But the award was for me, and when they called my name as well, I was shocked and super excited,” Friesen said.

Senior Emma McElveen designed sounds for the shows and won an award for Excellence in Sound Design. If you’ve ever wondered how you make sounds out of nothing for an entire production, McElveen is the person to ask.

“I studied the script that was given to me, and took notes on them, and found them on Soundplant and downloaded them to be used for the show,” McElveen said.

As their teacher, Rendina had to come up with ways to guide them towards their excellence. She decided to do this through her inspirational quotes.

“I always tell them one of my famous, not famous. One of my favorite quotes that I like to say is, ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail,’ and so we have prepared, and dived deep into character analysis and figuring out the backstory to the characters,” Rendina said. “I say that acting isn’t acting. Acting is becoming. They worked hard to become the characters on the stage, and it paid off.”