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Forest Hills' Theatre Program Honored at NCTC High School Play Festival

The Theatre Department at Forest Hills has much to celebrate, as they bring home honors from the 2017 NCTC High School Play Festival, held at Rocky River High School on 10/27. The theatre program, led by Mrs. Shelby Pressley, made the school and community proud with their presentation of Divided We Fall at the Festival, and is thrilled to bring home the following awards: (Excellence in Ensemble Acting, Excellence in Acting: Jordan Lowery, Overall Excellence Rating).

Mrs. Pressley is “so very proud of this group of students.  They took an incredibly heartfelt piece and gave the performance everything they could.  I am ecstatic!”

Cast from Divided We Fall at NCTC High School Play Festival

For over 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 was named one of the “Top High School Theatre Festivals” by Stage Directions Magazine, is the largest high school theatre event in the Southeast, and has been replicated in 9 other states. This year, 3,000 students from 93 schools performed 126 plays!

Each fall, professional theatres, colleges and high schools host 8 regional Festivals across the state. The top 2 outstanding productions from each of the regional sites advance to the NCTC State High School Play Festival, which will be on November 16-17 at Greensboro College. Winners there go on to represent the state of NC at the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s annual convention, which will be in Mobile, AL in 2018.

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 Natural and Cultural Resources; The Beattie Foundation; Lincoln Financial Group; the Moore County Unrestricted Endowment Fund; Barbizon Lighting Company; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the North Carolina Theatre Conference

The mission of NCTC is to strengthen North Carolina’s vibrant theatre industry, and engage tomorrow’s artists, audiences and advocates. NCTC has served as the leader of the statewide theatre industry since 1970, and produces several events throughout the year, including the NCTC Producing Gathering, NCTC College Discovery Day, the NCTC Theatre Admin Intensive, 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 Forest Hills High School’s theatre program, please contact Mrs. Shelby Pressley at 704-233-4001.