Thursday , 14 December 2017
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Newton-Conover High School Honored at the NCTC High School Play Festival

sh3The Theatre Department at Newton-Conover High School has much to celebrate, as they bring home honors from the 2014 NCTC High School Play Festival, held last fall. The theatre program, led by Laura Zinkhan, made the school and community proud with their presentation of Sillyheart at the Festival, and is thrilled to bring home the following awards:

Rating: Excellent

Excellence in Performance of Emotionally Heightened Content

For more than 30 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 live performing arts. The program is the largest high school theatre event in the Southeast, with more than 3,000 students from 91 schools performing 128 plays this year.

sh2Each fall, professional theatres, colleges and high schools across the state host a regional Festival, and the top 2 outstanding productions from each of the 8 sites advance to the NCTC State High School Play Festival, November 20-21 at Greensboro College. Winners there go on to represent the state of NC at the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s annual convention. The atmosphere at the Play Festival is positive and exciting, and students are filled with energy as they watch shows, learn from their peers and make new theatre friends. Schools travel with theatrical sets and load-in to a 10’x10’ backstage area. Before their 45 minute time limit begins, students eagerly await hearing the starting phrase, “Your time begins NOW!”, to which they respond with an enthusiastic reply. The 45 minute time limit includes setting up, performing the play and clearing the stage. Following their performance, students join their peers in the cheering audience to receive feedback from professional actors and directors with Broadway and Hollywood credits. Actors, designers, writers, directors and teachers are celebrated, and bring home awards that are displayed beside school sports trophies.

The NCTC High School Play Festival is made possible with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources; The Beattie Foundation; Lincoln Financial Group; UNC School of the Arts’ School of Design and Production; Wells Fargo; the Moore County Unrestricted Endowment Fund; and Barbizon Lighting Company.

sh1About the North Carolina Theatre Conference

NCTC has served as the leader of the statewide theatre industry since 1970, working to strengthen and support theatres, schools, students and artists with professional development events, education programs and advocacy efforts. The organization produces several events throughout the year, including the NCTC Producing Gathering, NCTC College Discovery Day, the NCTC Awards and statewide NCTC Middle School and High School Play Festivals.

For more information on NCTC, please contact Executive Director Angie Hays at 336-369-1984 or visit

For more information on the NCCS Theater Department, please contact Laura Zinkhan.

About Heather Mullins

Heather Mullins is the Chief Academic Officer in Newton-Conover City Schools. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who spent 12 years as a high school English Teacher. She received her B.S.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Western Carolina University. Heather completed her National Board Certification in Adolescent Young Adult English Language Arts in 2002. She holds an M.Ed. in Academically and Intellectually Gifted from UNC-Charlotte. Heather has served as a Curriculum Specialist in Hickory City Schools, an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and a Professional Development Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through Western Carolina University. Heather is one of the co-founders of #NCed Chat, North Carolina’s first Twitter chat for teachers. She is passionate about innovative practices, instructional technology, student ownership of learning, and supporting teachers. Heather serves on the advisory board for the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan, North Carolina School for the Deaf and Catawba Science Center. She is a recipient of the 2015 NCMLE Central Office Administrator to Watch Award. She also received the 2016 Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership. Heather is the proud mother of one son, Jackson.

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