Students seek to raise thousands to punch ticket to "world series of HS theater"

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Northwest School of the Arts' cast of The Color Purple is elated at the opportunity to take their show on the road.

They are the the second high school group in the country to perform the acclaimed musical and the first to take it on the road.

These rising stars will perform the feature show at this year's International Thespian Festival in Nebraska.

It was no easy feat for the students to even be invited to this event and now they're not even sure if they can even make it to their destination.

The event is considered the World Series of High School Theater.

"Some of the most prestigious theater programs around the country go and recruit students for their programs for the upcoming year," said the plays director Corey Mitchell.

The last time a North Carolina school was invited to the festival was 33 years ago.

"This is the highest honor for a high school for a theater program to be invited to," added Mitchell.

But taking a cast and staff of 90 on a weeklong educational conference is not cheap.

"It really is 149 thousand dollars," said Mitchell.

"What's been fortunate is that the kids themselves have helped to raise about 30 thousand and then we received 50 thousand gift from Wells Fargo."

"The Color Purple" cast is about $12,000 away from attending.

"With such a great show like this it would be really disappointing if we weren't able to go," said one of the cast members.

The students have until early May to come up with the money but they say they have faith.

"We all have really high ambitions because we all really want to showcase our talent."

"This would definitely be an awesome opportunity."

The cast will also give an encore performance of "The Color Purple" on June 16 in Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte.

The shows director Corey Mitchell has set up an online site for donations.

More information about the school's fundraising efforts may be found on

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