Woodmont High Theatre Wins National Award
The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) recognizes schools whose theatre programs exemplify and promote high standards of quality in educational theatre with the Outstanding School Award. This year only four schools in the nation were honored: James A. Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington; Leavenworth Senior High School in Leavenworth, Kansas; Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane, Washington; and Woodmont High School in Piedmont, South Carolina.
The Woodmont High School theatre program, home to Thespian Troupe 7407 under the direction of Harry Culpepper Jr. and Erin Gill, was recognized for creating an inclusive environment, working closely with coaches and clubs to ensure theatre is accessible to all students. Troupe 7407 also promotes school theatre in their community, volunteering with school and community organizations and participating in EdTA’s TOTS-Eat program collecting food items to supply their local foodbank. They hold outreach school matinee performances of their main stage and one-act productions, provide low cost theatre to local rural schools, and participate in state theatre festivals in South Carolina. The program partners with local organizations and businesses such as the Metropolitan Arts Council, The Warehouse Theatre, Michelin and Lowe’s of Simpsonville to create opportunities in the theatre programs and to engage in the community.
Woodmont High School’s storied theatre program is celebrating its eleventh year. They have represented SC at regional/national competitions, winning awards on the state and national level. Woodmont High was also selected to be filmed for an ETV/PBS Documentary on the impact of arts in the classroom that was made accessible to arts and classroom teachers across the country. There are almost 300 students involved in theatre classes on a daily basis, as well as many more involved in after school productions. Annually, Woodmont High School produces four mainstage productions, involving over a 100 students, and bringing in thousands of patrons from their community.
Harry Culpepper, Jr.
MA in Arts Administration
Fine Arts- Theatre Teacher - Director