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Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17

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 2012 North Carolina Thespian Festival.

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

More than 400 people, including 340 high school students plus directors and chaperones from 28 different International Thespian Society troupes, are expected to attend the festival, which will be held Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17, 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. Workshops will include: Audition Tips, Stage Combat, Broadway Jazz, Careers in Theatre, Creative Theatre Games, Blood and Guts (creating realistic wounds and prosthetics for stage and screen), Preparing a Role, Preparing a Song, Scene Painting Techniques, Vacuum-Forming: Creating Plastic Décor & Props, Visions in Art: Light & Sight, and more.

The thespians also will present a play showcase and will participate in 17 adjudicated individual events in areas both performance and design over the course of the conference. The society will conclude the festival with an awards event, called Tarheel Theatre Tapestry, 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., June 25-30.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.