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Norwin thespians go for the gold

| Friday, Nov. 24, 2006

The Norwin High School Theatre Club will be one of only four high school drama clubs in Pennsylvania to compete in the 2006 Show Competition at the Pennsylvania Thespian Conference on Dec. 2 at Connellsville Area High School.

The winner of the competition will go on to the National Thespian Conference during the International Thespian Festival, June 25-30, 2007, in Lincoln, Neb.

"This is the first year the club will compete in the show competition," said Tina Lepidi-Stewart, English teacher and drama coach. "Club members will perform the entire show of 'The Taffetas' in front of about 2,000 people and the judges."

Judges will determine a winner based on the overall quality of the show, performances, direction, sets, props and costumes.

There are about 75 members in the Norwin Theatre Club, but only about 24 students will travel to the state competition, Stewart said. The club has been in existence for 14 years.

"The Taffetas" is a show based in the 1950s and focuses on four sisters who are part of a singing group. When they aren't performing, the sisters -- Kaye (senior Erika Pealstrom), Cheryl (senior Brett Czekaj), Donna (senior Amber Williams) and Peggy (sophomore Mandie Russak) -- sell beauty products. Their big dream is to impress Ed Sullivan in the hopes that he asks them to be on his television show.

"The sisters make their television debut on the Dumont Television Network, which sets the framework for an evening of some of the greatest hits of the '50s like 'Sh-boom,' 'Mr. Sandman,' 'Johnny Angel' and 'Sincerely,'" said Williams, whose character has a thing for Chevy convertibles.

The show also pays tribute to the sounds of the Maguire Sisters, the Fontaine Sisters and the Chordettes.

The show is directed by Stewart; Leyna McCarthy, a Norwin graduate and choreographer; and Shasta Wozny, a music teacher at Ligonier Valley High School. The club's costume designers, Judy McKinley and Cathy Walters, have created red taffeta dresses for the performers.

"The Taffetas" will be presented in the Norwin Senior High School auditorium for one show only at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Donations will be accepted at the door.

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