The Cultural Center was buzzing Tuesday night with students, nuns, criminals, and a band all working on Lincolnton High School’s (LHS) rehearsal of “Sister Act”.
Directed by Shane Stephens, LHS’s director of choral and drama activities, the production has been nearly 12 weeks in the making. The cast and crew is approximately 40 students strong, along with some professionals.
“It’s a unique show,” Stephens said. “It has a great message and it really fits the demographics of Lincolnton High School.”
LHS’s “Sister Act” is student driven. The students were everywhere in the Cultural Center. They were working on wardrobes backstage, putting last minute touches on the set and in the balcony tending to lighting rigs. Students were packed into the green room with their instruments providing live music, lead by band director Joshua Belvin. All were ready with information on show dates and times or which song was being rehearsed.
Ashley Logan, 18, plays Doloris, a nightclub singer who witnesses her boyfriend kill someone. Logan’s been participating in theater since freshman year. She said she’s learned a lot about what she can do with her voice. Her favorite part is seeing the younger cast members as they advance in their craft.
“My favorite is watching everyone learn their character and learning how a musical works,” Logan said. “So I’m very excited to see them grow.”
Preston, 17, who plays Curtis. Having to play a bad guy was a big turn from the meek character he played in his last production. Smith started in theater as a Sophomore.
“I came to see Little Shop (of Horrors) my freshman year,” Smith said. “I tried out, but didn’t make it. I was planning on not trying out again, but seeing it and how professional it looked, I just wanted to be a part of it.”
Smith hopes to make a career out of his love of singing and acting by becoming a music educator with side gig in theater and acting.
Both Logan and Smith called Stephens a lead-by-example teacher and director.
“We call him coach because he always gives us good tips and good advice on anything and everything that we need help on,” Logan said. “It doesn't even matter if it’s about the musical or if we just need to talk to him, he’ll always give us good advice. He’s always there. He pushes us to be our best and he strives for greatness.”
That strive for greatness was evident inside the Cultural Center Tuesday night. The production is the running for a Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater award, informally known as a Blumey.
“The kids have worked really hard,” Stephens said. “We hope people will come out and see the effects of theater in the public school system.”
“Sister Act” will be performed at the Cultural Center on April 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and April 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and senior citizens and $5 for students.