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June 7, 2014

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTER — For June 7-8

NAHS needs support for theatre trip

It’s not often Southern Indiana residents are told they are spoiled by success. However, in the case of their school performing arts programs, it’s true.

The New Albany High School performance of “Antigone” needs $6,000 to proudly join a roll call of only a dozen other high schools from across the nation. The International Thespians Society has improbably chosen a 2,500-year-old Greek tragedy from NAHS to present among the mostly musical theater lineup at the association’s festival. We perform June 23.

Spoiled by success? There are 791 schools across the nation eligible to be selected for the international festival. “Antigone” represents the fifth New Albany High School performance in the past two decades to be awarded the highest honor a high school theatre program can receive, our Academy Awards.

Sure, the show is a way to showcase our community among theater enthusiasts from across the world who will be attending the festival. But this trip is not a frivolous vacation. Students will not only be performing their show twice for a huge audience of fellow thespians, but also attending a whole week of theatre workshops, attending other shows and auditioning for colleges.

The International Thespians conference had life-changing consequences for NAHS alumnus Josh Dallas, who stars in the ABC network show, “Once Upon A Time.” His NAHS show, “The Pirates of Penzance” was staged at International Thespians, and his career was jump-started with the London drama school scholarship he received based upon his Thespians’ performance.

While this year’s students have raised about 85 percent of the $34,000 needed to finance the trip to Lincoln, Neb., they need an extra push to get over the top. That’s why we need your help. You’ll be helping provide this once-in-a-lifetime experience for the play’s 40 actors and technicians. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll help reinforce the rewards for high-level academic achievements for all the students at the schools who represent you and our community.

If you wish to contribute, mail your donation, payable to NAHS Theatre Arts. Mail it to Linda DeRungs, New Albany High School, 1020 Vincennes St., New Albany, IN, 47150. If you wish to discuss how you could help, e-mail me at lderungs@nafcs.k12.in.us.

I hope many more community members will help us let the world know how proud Southern Indiana is of its continuing educational excellence.

— Linda DeRungs, New Albany High School Fine Arts chair

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