Nansemond River High School performing arts students achieved some good results at the Virginia Theatre Association’s Annual Conference and High School Theatre Festival last weekend. (Robin Hirsch photo)

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NRHS drama earns accolades

Published 10:18pm Monday, November 5, 2012

Several students from Nansemond River High School, as well as their director and teacher, claimed accolades at a statewide performing arts conference and festival last weekend, the school has announced.

At the Virginia Theatre Association’s Annual Conference, Nansemond River took all three On-the-Spot Playwriting Awards, with first place going to Conner Brew, second place to McKenna Lavender, Christine Pinell and Amy Rice, and third place to K.C. Couch and Savannah Miller.

In the High School New Play Competition, Harold Hodge Jr. was runner-up, and an honorable mention went to Richard Harrah and Savannah Miller.

The school’s improvisational comedy and dance teams both won third-place awards.

Nansemond River’s competitive performing arts team, presenting the Greek classic “Medea” for the association’s High School Theatre Festival, received an honorable mention.

The performance also earned teacher and director Joleen Neighbours a technical merit award, and Lauran Hubbard, who played the title role, the All-State Actor gong.

“Medea” also resulted in a Best Ensemble Award for the Greek chorus, consisting of Amy Rice, Deja Patterson, Sydney Pressley, Kasey Furlo, Lauren Farrar, Jada White, Tori Tohak, Cody Edwards, Rolonzo Rawls, Christine Pinell and Tia Price.

Again for the performance, Kasey Furlo and Sydney Pressley received a special judges’ recognition award for makeup design.

Pressley was named to the association’s Student Board of Directors as vice president.

During the weekend at Reston in Northern Virginia, Nansemond River seniors auditioned for various collegiate and university performing arts programs, earning more than 30 callbacks, according to a press release announcing the results.

“With a growing performing arts program, Nansemond River High School is rapidly becoming well-known for its fine arts programs, along with the school’s other superb academic areas, which has become a highlight of the high school experience for many of the Suffolk students,” a press release stated.

The release praised Neighbours and school administrators for their support, adding that principal Thomas McLemore has taken a leading role.

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