March 24, 2011/Press Tip/Photo Op
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337,


Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26

WINSTON-SALEM – High school theatre students from across North Carolina will converge on Winston-Salem this weekend, when the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) hosts the 2011 North Carolina Thespian Festival.

The festival is the annual conference of the N.C. Thespian Society, the state chapter of the International Thespian Society.

Record high participation is expected this year, with 350 students plus directors and chaperones registered to attend the festival, which will be held Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26, on the UNCSA campus, 1533 South Main St., Winston-Salem.

Faculty members from the UNCSA Schools of Drama, Design and Production, and Filmmaking, and special guest artists will present workshops for the festival participants from 1-4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26. Workshops covering both performance and technical aspects of theatre will include: Monologue Tips, Stage Combat, Broadway Jazz, Blood and Guts (creating realistic wounds and prosthetics for stage and screen), Eggs from Mashed Potatoes (creating affordable fake foods for the stage), and Careers in Technical Theatre. In addition, film-related workshops will include: How to Watch a Movie, Perfecting Your Pitch (how to sell your story and get your movie made), Directing for Film, and more. 

UNCSA college students who are members of the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) will conduct Tech Olympics with festival participants, and students from UNCSA’s High School Drama Program will act as hosts for the weekend and assist with workshops.

The thespians also will present a play showcase and will participate in 16 adjudicated individual events (monologues, duet acting, solo musical, etc.) during the conference. The society will conclude the festival with an awards event where the performances and designs judged the best in all event categories will be announced. Thespians earning a superior rating may advance to the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Neb., in July.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.