Ardrey Kell presents Digging Up the Boys

The cast and crew of Ardrey Kell High School's production of "Digging Up the Boys." Photo courtesy of Frances Hill

CHARLOTTE – Ardrey Kell High School's theater department is celebrating recognition from the 2021 NCTC High School Play Festival.

The program, led by Hannah Daniels and John Harris III, presented “Digging Up the Boys” by Laura Lundgren Smith at the festival.

The performance not only earned a superior rating but also the Festival Spirit Award, Excellence in Stage Movement, Excellence in Ensemble Acting and Distinguished Play.

Several people from Ardrey Kell won awards in acting (Meagan AuBuchon and J. Preston Stovall), directing (Hannah Daniels), stage management/costume design (Keely Schmidt), make-up effects (Maggie Hacker) and set and poster design (Meghan O'Brien).

This year, over 1,500 students from 71 schools are performing 89 plays at seven regional sites. The top 16 productions are invited to perform at the NCTC State High School Play Festival on Nov. 19 and 21 at Greensboro College.

Schools travel to their regional festival sites with theatrical sets, costumes and props. Each school has 45 minutes to set up, perform the play and clear the stage. After the performance, students receive feedback from 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,” NCTC Executive Director Angie Hays said. “They leave with new friends, feeling energized and inspired.”

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