High School play has students learning more than just their lines

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The Kinston High School theater program is set to debut an original play on Saturday.

After more than two months working in and out of the classroom, this show based loosely on A Christmas Carol has a bigger message.

“I’m excited. I don’t know I think I’m more excited than anybody,” said Kinston High School senior Caprice Coleman.

For students in the theater program, Saturday is a day they have been waiting for.

Coleman said, “It’s just something about being on stage that just it opens up a whole other part of me. I’m a whole different person.”

Coleman is just one of more than twenty students taking part in the production.

The show Christmas Without You takes a Christmas classic and turns it into a story about a high school boy facing difficulties at home who chooses to act out in school.

Coleman plays the boy’s mother who has been raising him alone.

“Some of my classmates will look at me and say ‘Oh my God, you brought tears to my eyes’ playing that role,” said Coleman.

The play was written by theater arts teacher Elizabeth Payne.

She wrote the story to speak to a bigger problem, a reality.

“A lot of our kids have personal problems at home that we have no idea about,” said Payne. “Then we wonder why they are not doing homework, they’re showing up late, they’re hungry, they’re not eating. Some of our kids are raising their little brothers and sisters. Some of our kids are raised in that type of environment.”

Junior Kaden Edgeston said the show has opened her eyes to see what others are going through.

“You never know what people are going through unless you get to know them or talk to them as a person,” said Edgeston. “We’re built on community and I think that we need interaction with other people and getting to know other people’s stories are like really important and good for us.”

Coleman said of the play, “I hope this play changes people. I hope people will be aware of their surroundings and just don’t judge. Get to know someone before you say anything about them.”

The group has two shows on Saturday at 2pm and 7pm.

Tickets are seven dollars apiece and can be purchased at the door.

The students are also collecting on perishable items like can food or toiletries at the door. They plan hope to donate at least 100 items to a local homeless shelter.

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