Division Chair: Matt Ward, matt.ward82@gmail.com

Division Vice Chair: Blair Dawkins, dawkinsbb@spart6.org

I want to take this opportunity to invite all of you and your students to participate in the annual High School Theatre Festival which will be held in conjunction with the SCTA Convention, November 14-17, at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina. All schools participating may receive individual trophies, and the productions and actors will be eligible for numerous awards. The adjudicators will select the first, second, and third place productions, and the first and second place productions will represent South Carolina at the SETC Festival in March 2020. The Southeastern Theatre Conference, of which SCTA is an affiliate, is the largest theatre organization in the United States and offers teachers and students four full days of invaluable workshops, master classes, performances, college auditions, scholarships and opportunities for networking. The Festival showcases the talent of more than 700 students from 100+ schools, in 30 productions.

At the SCTA Festival, schools from all across the state come together to share their talents and celebrate their collective achievements. The basic premise of the Festival is that schools load-in their set into a backstage area that will be approximately 10’x10′, before taking the stage to perform their play. Students have 45 minutes to tell their story and leave the stage completely clear. Following their performance, students receive verbal and written feedback from industry experts. When not performing, students can watch performances from other schools, learn from their experts at workshops, audition for colleges and universities, audition for the ten-minute play works, participate in the tech Olympics and make new theatre friends. At the end of the four-days, numerous awards are presented at an exciting ceremony that celebrates the achievements of all participants.

New Participants – The Play Festival can seem complicated and overwhelming at first, but we are here to help. If you are a new participant this year and have any questions, please contact us and we will talk you through the process and can even connect you with an experienced teacher to help in your first year.

Other opportunities for you and your students include our Annual Unified Auditions held in February. Also, mark your calendars to join us on May 18th in Greenville for the Annual Awards Celebration.

Matt Ward
High School Theatre Division Chair, SCTA
Carolina Forest High School

Helpful Links:

PDA/SCITS Festival – February 22 – 24 at Winthrop University

SETC 70th Convention– February 27 – March 3 in Knoxville, TN

SCSTA High School Festival – March 16 at Lugoff-Elgin

International Thespian Festival – June 24 – 29 at University of Nebraska, Lincoln

About Matt Ward

Dr. Matt Ward has been a member of the faculty at Carolina Forest High School since 2012 where he teaches Piano, Musical Theatre and AP Music Theory. He is the International Thespian Society troupe sponsor and also a co-director of the competition drama team. He has served on the board for the South Carolina Theatre Association as the high school division chair and South Carolina Thespians. He is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro, the University of Illinois, West Virginia University and the University of South Carolina.​

About Blair Dawkins

Blair Dawkins has been a part of the Dorman Theatre Department since graduating in 2004 from Wofford College with a degree in English and Communications. While at Dorman, Blair has taught a variety of theatre courses at both Dorman High School and Dorman Freshman Campus as well as served as director for shows such as Little Women, and the annual Dorman Dinner Theatre productions. She also teaches Media Arts and advises the DFC 9 News team. Her area of expertise is Musical Theatre and has served as the choreographer for many productions throughout Spartanburg including Wizard of Oz, Shrek the Musical, Avenue Q, and many more. In her spare time, Blair teaches with the Spartanburg Youth Theatre and can be seen on stage with the Spartanburg Little Theatre. Her greatest joy comes from being able to share the stage with her students and introduce them to the world of theatre. She lives in Spartanburg with her husband Ben and their rescue dog, Rory.