WHS Theatre of excellence

The Disney stage play The Little Mermaid as produced by the Wilmington High School Theatre group fully raised the “bar of excellence” that already was out-of-the-sea and into the sky. Only a trip to Broadway could have equaled, but certainly not surpassed, the caliber of this captivating and superb Sunday afternoon closing performance.

“Do you know what you have in Wilmington?” was the question regarding the theatres as posed in 2007 by a professional musician who had extensively and internationally traveled. He had seen and experienced the Murphy Theatre and the Wilmington College Hugh G. Heiland Theatre but not additionally the Wilmington High School Theatre facilities nor its local productions and local talent performing on stage. “Yes,” was my reply, “we have three crown jewels. One theatre is a historic production theatre and the other two are college and high school teaching theatres.” He said that in traveling throughout the world and in small towns and cities he found that few communities the size of Wilmington are fortunate to have even one theatre like any of these three.

Definitely “raising the bar of excellence” for theatre productions in Wilmington are Director and Designer Bryan Wallingford, Music Director Timothy Larrick, choreographer Tricia Heys, lighting & sound operations manager Becky Haines, orchestra conductor Matthew Spradlin, vocal coach Gina Beck, costume manager Tara Lydy, stage manager Clarissa Clark, deck manager Emma Ballein and numerous talented production staff and members plus a superbly talented cast of both acting and vocal student members. Here, only the sky is the limit for impeccable theatre productions and talent.

To the Sunday afternoon standing ovations and applause for The Little Mermaid production let it be said, as the late Hugh G. Heiland was heard to acclaim at the conclusion of superb and awesome performances at Wilmington College, “Bravo, Bravo, Bravo!” Prior to this weekend, the WHS Theatre “bar of excellence” was sky-high, and now the bar is set even higher.

Jim Gumley


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