GWU Hosts Statewide High School Play Festival in Dover Theatre

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Theatre Festival Brings Hundreds of N.C. High School Students to Gardner-Webb

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – For two days, Gardner-Webb will host the statewide High School Play Festival by the North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC). Sixteen plays from 12 schools perform throughout the day from Nov. 7-8, finalized with an awards ceremony on Saturday, Nov 7 at 8:15. Performances are free and open to the public.

The NCTC festival showcases the talent of more than 3,000 students from more than 100 N.C. schools in 128 productions. Students have 45 minutes to perform and leave the stage completely clear before receiving verbal and written feedback from industry experts. At the end of the two-day Festival, numerous awards are presented in ceremony that celebrates the achievements of each participant.

“It’s an amazing experience to have so many local high school students here on campus,” said Sue Fair, instructor and technical director of Theatre at Gardner-Webb. “It’s been really energizing, and so far, the performances have blown me away with the level of talent on stage and behind the scenes.”

Fair helped facilitate this year’s High School Play Festival, volunteering the Gardner-Webb campus as a host location. “It’s a perfect location to be a host,” she said.

Jim Thomas, interim dean of the School of Performing and Visual Arts, was enthusiastic about the opportunity to host the festival. “It is certainly a positive experience for our staff and students to host very talented—and energetic!—high school students,” said. “It’s a good recruiting possibility, not only for theatre, but for the entire university.  I hope it’s also a good experience for the high schools as well.”

For more information on NCTC, including the festival’s full schedule, visit

NCTC connects and supports NC’s statewide theatre industry, including K-12 schools and students, college theatre programs, professional theatres, community theatres and individual artists. Year-round programs include the NCTC High School and Middle School Play Festivals, NCTC Producing Gathering, NCTC College Discovery Day and the NCTC Awards. NCTC advocates on behalf of the industry to ensure the arts are funded and accessible to all students and audiences in NC. Visit to learn more about our programs and theatre across the state!

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 55 major and minor professional programs of study, a comprehensive academic experience that flows from our Christian commitment to intellectual freedom, service and leadership.