Warrior drama rises to the top

Published 9:13 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2014

After the performance put forth by Nansemond River High School’s performing arts team at a recent statewide competition, we’re wondering how many future Oscar or Tony winners are in the Warrior midst.

The Virginia Theater Association event held in Norfolk Oct. 23-26 featured performances by high schools throughout the state, and Nansemond River’s team, directed by Joleen Neighbours, won honorable mention for its play “AP Theater.”

Neighbours and her student assistant directors, Emily Hunter and Kenneth Galderisi, also won a State Technical Merit award for the production.

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Meanwhile, junior Rodney McKeithan won Best Actor in State, while senior Cody Edwards and sophomore Savannah Miller were named All-State Actors. Miller also swept up awards for writing full-length and one-act plays, judged alongside new plays from other high school students across Virginia.

Liz Foshe won first place overall in the on-the-spot playwriting competition, with Kristen Lair-Baer winning third place overall.

Maia Micou won honorable mention in the state costume design competition.

Perhaps more importantly for the future of the seniors in the theater program, they received a total of more than 50 callbacks after auditioning for college and university performing arts programs.

It was hardly the beginning of success for Nansemond River’s theater program, which is a perennial contender for the top awards at every competition it enters.

These talented students work hard and are receiving well deserved recognition for it, as is their director. The ones seeking a show business career have an excellent running start before they’ve even graduated from high school.

Even those who don’t go on to employment in taped or live drama will be able to draw on what they’ve learned on stage or behind the curtain to serve them well in whatever line of work they choose.

Many bouquets are due to the budding actors in the theater program and their director for a job well done — again.