• An older classic play to be announced in October,
7:30 p.m. March 19-21 and 3 p.m. March 21-22. $18.
(This is the Spring Musical Directed by Fringe Award-Winning Director, G. Wayne Canady.)
Article in the Sun News' Kicks Section about CFHS Shows, and other Carolina Forest High School productions...
Myrtle Beach-area school theater departments take on 'Xanadu,' 'Hairspray'
By Steve Palisin
September 18, 2014
Youth across Horry and Georgetown counties who love to perform or help behind the scenes to make a production shine might be budding professional thespians, musicians, technicians for light and sound, or designers for sets and wardrobes, or involved simply for some extracurricular quality time with friends.
They hop on stage not just to entertain their colleagues in class, but the whole community, locally at such high schools as Socastee and North Myrtle Beach and, in one case, an ocean’s flight away.
A student group from the Carolina Forest High School Drama Department, led by G. Wayne Canady, department director, repackaged their adaptation of “Always … Patsy Cline” for four shows in August as part of the American High School Theatre Festival at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.
Canady called the trip surreal and “an experience that leaves you speechless and then turns you into a stortyteller.”
“The children who went will never be the same,” he said, “because they were able to experience the richness of the culture and do many theater and musical experiences. … They kept saying, ‘Can we come back next year?’”
Students make lives in arts
Going to Scotland to perform and see other theater groups perform has spurred many of the teens to think “about new pathways for what they will do in the future,” Canady said. He recalled one mother who quoted her son’s spirited aspirations of going into the performing arts and making a lifetime involving the arts.
Canady, a schoolteacher for more than 40 years, and halfway through his second decade at Carolina Forest High, cited some alumni who have made a career on or behind the stage, such as Duncan Singleton, “whose passion is technical theater,” whose work in lighting and sound across the area has included Brookgreen Gardens.
Josh Selander, who went on to study at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, also drew Canady’s kudos for his building a career at the Electronic Theatre Controls, “the largest lighting company in the United States.” Canady said Selander helps with “all of the shows that ETC lights in Las Vegas, … does work in California with the movie industry, and on the side, he works with some of the New York shows.” Those include the touring Broadway production of “Wicked.”
Other graduates of whom Canady voiced his pride are Donnie Sanders, employed by a Tony Award-winning costumer in New York, and, as his counterpart at Carolina Forest High for the past three years, Matt Ward.
Canady said of every former student he finds joy in seeing come back into the profession, “the work they’re doing will be mirrored in the lives of the children they touch.”
Planning way ahead for plays
Ward, who teaches music theory and musical theater, said he and students already have a busy year under way in preparing for two musical competitions and a fall play, “Xanadu,” Nov. 20-22, for which preliminary planning began in spring.
With hopes for the school earning a nod for summer 2015 to the annual Educational Theatre Association Thespian Festival (www.schooltheatre.org) June 22-27 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Ward said he and colleagues sought a show “that kids would enjoy seeing,” locally and possibly at the fest.
“It’s a lot of skating,” he said. “It’s a love story and pretty comical.”
Ward said “Carrie the Musical” also was considered, and the crew avoided choosing a play too obscure or “something that people knew but were not sure about.”
“Students will have a good time performing this,” Ward said.
Farrah Beaudry, choral director at Socastee High, said although a highlight for the year ahead, “Hairspray” — on the heels of “Shrek the Musical” last spring — doesn’t play out until March 5-8, each year’s big title isn’t chosen until August each year, then plenty of planning begins.
Asked for her favorite part in the process of assembling, then delivering, such a production, Beaudry shared the credit.
She relishes sitting back and watching a show the most “because I get to see all the work everyone has done in countless ways,” and also praises all parents, school staff and community sponsors for their help and support.
“I can’t tell you the number of hours that go into a performance,” Beaudry said. “We always call that the ‘magic of the theater.’ You wonder how in the world is this going to happen, and somehow it does.”
Make room on the calendar and catch some shows and concerts, so when students look out into the seats, they see another reason for their work: the reward of a community that cares in seeing them step out into the lights.
Carolina Forest High School
Where | 700 Gardner Lacy Road, off U.S. 501, Myrtle Beach.
Drama department main-stage musicals |
• “Xanadu,” 7 p.m. Nov. 20-22. $14.
• An older classic play to be announced in October, 7:30 p.m. March 19-21 and 3 p.m. March 21-22. $18. (This is the Spring Musical Directed by Fringe Award-winning Director, G. Wayne Canady.)
Show Choir shows | Each $7:
• “Motown Gold,” 7 p.m. Oct. 23 and 25, and 3 p.m. Oct. 26.
• “Holiday Spectacular,” 7 p.m. Dec. 12-13, and 3 p.m. Dec. 14.
• “Broadway Bound” benefit to raise travel money for New York City competition, 7 p.m. Feb. 6-7 and 3 p.m. Feb. 8.
• “Showstoppers,” 7 p.m May 15-16 and 6 p.m. May 17.
Also | Annual “Panther Idol,” 7 p.m. Oct. 3. $5.
Information | 236-7997 or www.cfhsshows.com