Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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Letters to the Editor

May 14, 2014

Many helped make festival a success

— — 4PALS Productions held its 2nd Annual Theater Festival on April 12 at the Bluefield High School Performing Arts Center. There were nearly 350 in attendance! The day could not have been more positive and fulfilling for all those attending.

Drama teams from Princeton (coach Mary Gaspersich), Montcalm (Jenny Persinger), River View (Ryan Henderson/Don Smith), Bland/Rocky Gap (Tiffany Carter/Cameron Burton) and Graham (Tom and Matt Helton) attended. Vice Mayor Barbara Thompson Smith was so eloquent in her welcoming speech to the city of Bluefield. She called each participant a star — “Students Training Above Responsibility.”  It was a beautiful and heartfelt speech to these leaders of tomorrow. Marie Blackwell of the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Shawn Williams, (teacher at Bluefield High School) and Ray Lynch (pharmaceutical representative) from Princeton served as judges for the day. They had a heck of a time deciding the winners. Grant’s Supermarkets (Ron Martin), the Bramwell Theatre Corporation and the Bluefield Fine Arts Commission sponsored the event with 4PALS. Because of these sponsors every participant was given a terrific lunch, by Julie Hurley and crew of the Perfect Bite, at no cost, and each team received a monetary award of no less than $100 per team.

The 4PALS Sterling Silver Cup was awarded to Bland/Rocky Gap — winner of $500 —for the second year in a row. Original Playwright Matt Helton and his Graham Team brought home second place, winning $250. Montcalm won the Rising Star Award for outstanding growth from last year’s first ever attempt at having a drama club! Aaron Hayes from Graham won Best Actor while Alexa Riggs from Bland/Rocky Gap won Best Actress.

Michael Goforth served as technical director for the student teams. Tim, the custodian at BHS, was very helpful and kept the place spotless during and after lunch. Bottom line: Vain Colby, Skip Crane, Jim Jenks and Thomas Lester (4PALS) could not have pulled off this amazing event without the sincere efforts from those mentioned above. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts! We are so excited for next year’s April event — we just wish more area high schools would offer their students a chance at this fun, challenging, confidence building and growth opportunity. 4PALS would love to see this event become a huge tourist draw every year for schools and live theater fans — and it could happen!

Skip Crane

Company manager

4PALS productions

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