Plant City High School theater students surprised with $10,000 grant for program

Local News

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Theater students at Plant City High School got a big surprise Tuesday morning, learning they will receive a $10,000 grant to go toward their program.

NBC has partnered with the Educational Theatre Foundation to give $10,000 grants to 50 high schools to support their theater departments. The R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America program, inspired by the network’s upcoming theatre-focused drama called Rise, received over a thousand applicants. And Plant City High School was one of the winners.

The grant will help cover production expenses, technical equipment and set design and construction.

“Usually with our sets and stuff we get hand-me-downs or have to make it, and now we can get better and impact people’s lives more and make it something to remember,” said Chris Dulje, a junior at Plant City High.

Dulje was in the crowd as drama teacher Audrey Schmidt told the students the good news.

The teens started cheering and crying. Right now, they are working on a spring production of Disney’s Aladdin that will be in both English and Spanish. With this grant, the production will be able to go to the next level without draining the budget for the department.

“We are a title one school. Some schools can charge their kids a monthly or yearly fee to be in theater. Our kids can’t even afford lunch money so how can I ask them to pay to make art? To have this investment, to say you guys are worth it,” said Schmidt.

You can catch Plant City High School’s performance of Aladdin April 5 – 7.Full list of grant winners:

  1. Charles Henderson High School (Troy, AL)
  2. American Canyon High School (American Canyon, CA)
  3. Henry J. Kaiser High School (Fontana, CA)
  4. Mariposa County High School (Mariposa, CA)
  5. Vaughn Next Century Learning Center (San Fernando, CA)
  6. Seaside High School (Seaside, CA)
  7. Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy (Denver, CO)
  8. Enfield High School (Enfield, CT)
  9. School Without Walls (Washington, D.C.)
  10. Hallandale High School (Hallandale Beach, FL)
  11. Plant City High School (Plant City, FL)
  12. The Howard School (Atlanta, GA)
  13. Nanakuli High and Intermediate School (Waianae, HI)
  14. Jefferson High School (Cedar Rapids, IA)
  15. Glenbard West High School (Glen Ellyn, IL)
  16. Scecina Memorial High School (Indianapolis, IN)
  17. Leavenworth High School (Leavenworth, KS)
  18. Boyle County High School (Danville, KY)
  19. Alfred Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School (Kenner, LA)
  20. The Baltimore City College (Baltimore, MD)
  21. Hamtramck High School (Hamtramck, MI)
  22. Pine Island High School (Pine Island, MN)
  23. Grand Center Arts Academy (St. Louis, MO)
  24. Gautier High School (Gautier, MS)
  25. Park High School (Livingston, MT)
  26. Malcolm Public Schools, District 148 (Malcolm, NE)
  27. Belmont High School (Belmont, NH)
  28. Bound Brook High School (Bound Brook, NJ)
  29. Union Senior High School (Union, NJ)
  30. Digital Arts & Technology Academy (Albuquerque, NM)
  31. Equipo Academy East Las Vegas College Prep (Las Vegas, NV)
  32. Hastings High School (Hastings-On-Hudson, NY)
  33. Peekskill High School (Peekskill, NY)
  34. James N Gamble Montessori (Cincinnati, OH)
  35. Dublin Scioto High School (Dublin, OH)
  36. Henryetta High School (Henryetta, OK)
  37. Regis St. Mary Catholic School (Stayton, OR)
  38. Harry S. Truman High School (Levittown, PA)
  39. Mastery Charter Schools Foundation (Philadelphia, PA)
  40. Central Falls High School (Central Falls, RI)
  41. Deubrook Area School District 5-6 (White, SD)
  42. Jackson County High School (Gainesboro, TN)
  43. John Overton Comprehensive High School (Nashville, TN)
  44. Alice High School (Alice, TX)
  45. Jack Yates High School (Houston, TX)
  46. Pharr San Juan Alamo North Early College High School (Pharr, TX)
  47. Heritage High School (Leesburg, VA)
  48. Rainier Beach High School (Seattle, WA)
  49. Hudson High School (Hudson, WI)
  50. Martinsburg High School (Martinsburg, WV

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