It's not often that the roles of students and teacher are reversed.
But that's what happens when Harlem High School's staff prepares for the spring faculty production, a student-produced and student-directed play.
"This is our fifth year doing a faculty production which is student directed and produced," said Roy Lewis, drama instructor at Harlem High. "They do everything - design the lights and sets, the costumes, they direct it, they block it."
This year's production is Smoke on the Mountain, which will be presented on March 21, 22 and 23 at the school auditorium at 7 p.m. The $7 admission fee will help raise money for the theater program's scholarship fund.
"We offer about $2,000 in scholarships each year to graduating seniors who are going on to pursue some avenue of theater as a career," Lewis said.
Smoke on the Mountain, by Connie Ray and Alan Bailey, takes place on a Saturday night in June 1938 in the sanctuary of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, N.C.
Phillip Streetman, music teacher at Columbia Middle, plays the piano while Pam McCorkle, Harlem chorus teacher (from left), Dr. Rose Carraway, Harlem Assistant Principal, Joyce Cheek, Harlem math teacher and Roy Lewis, Harlem drama teacher sing during a rehersal for Smoke on the Mountain, the Harlem High School facuilty play.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The local pickle plant, the main industry in town, has recently been laying people off at an alarming rate due to a lagging economy. Saturday night sings have become a highly prized - and needed - form of entertainment. In Smoke on the Mountain, the Sanders family makes its first appearance after a five-year hiatus from the gospel singing circuit.
"It's a fun, rollicking comedy evening of gospel songs we've all grown up to know and to love - part of our heritage and our roots," Lewis said. "It features faculty members portraying the characters and singing your gospel favorites."
Stars of the play include: Pam McCorkle, choral teacher; Joyce Cheek, math teacher; David Thibodeau, science teacher; David Frasier, a special ed teacher; Carroll Morris, construction teacher; Bill Tankersley, instructional technology specialist; Rose Carraway, assistant principal; Phillip Streetman, Columbia Middle School middle teacher; Roy Lewis, drama teacher, Dr. Michael Ritchie, business professor at USC-Aiken and other supporting cast members.
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