Stark County Catholic High Schools is pleased to announce a new partnership which will enhance the performing arts programs at both Central Catholic and St. Thomas Aquinas High Schools. The two high schools have recently hired Carrie Spina and Taylor Scott to lead a full, joint musical production in March of 2019. Spina is the director of the Canton Palace Theatre and ArtsinStark Start to Strike Program, has directed many musical performances around Stark County, and is the founder of New Direction Performing Arts Academy, an outreach program that brings musical theatre to schools who want a professional theatre experience. Scott is a teaching artist that works with schools throughout Stark County to bring theatre to life, including working as a co-director of outstanding theatre performances at St. Paul Catholic School in North Canton, and is the owner of Snow Sisters Entertainment.
The decision to hire Spina and Scott is a result of the success both schools have experienced this year as participants in the Stark To Strike Program. Stark to Strike, a program sponsored by the Canton Palace Theatre and ArtsinStark, gave Central Catholic and St. Thomas Aquinas students the opportunity to produce their own drama performance, students wrote an original script and musical number, created their costumes and set, determined the sound and lighting elements at the Palace Theatre, and led all the marketing efforts for the show! The two schools take-over the Palace Theatre for “The Villain’s Last Page,” a show that attempts to redeem Scar (Lion King), the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland), Hades (Hercules), and the Big Bad Wolf, this Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:15 pm, tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students.
“The Villain’s Last Page” marks the first time Central Catholic and St. Thomas Aquinas have combined their talents for a joint drama performance. Participants of the show have been amazed at how positive the experience has been for both schools which prompted administrators to hire theatre professionals to direct musicals each spring. According to Dan Gravo, president of Stark County Catholic High Schools, “each school will continue to offer their own unique plays, and will still have their own unique drama clubs, these joint musicals will be an addition to what each school already offers. Stark County Catholic High Schools are excited for the opportunity to enhance our program for the arts. We pride ourselves in recognizing the unique talents of each our students through drama club, choir, band, visual arts classes, graphic design classes, and art club. Our smaller communities provide students with more one-on-one attention to further develop their talents and multiple opportunities for them to celebrate their potential. Our new joint spring musicals will serve as yet another opportunity to respond to the outstanding talent we have in our schools and the talent we already recognize in the students in our elementary school system.” As this year’s cast and crew take the stage this weekend, students can look forward to launching another musical the weekend of March 23-25, 2019 at the Canton Palace Theatre.
Stark County Catholic High Schools is collaboration between Central Catholic High School and St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Middle School. While both schools maintain their unique identities and traditions, they now share one president, one governing board, and an administrative team that comprises marketing, enrollment, and development. Central Catholic High School and St. Thomas Aquinas High School offer the hallmarks of a Catholic Education, highlighted by 100% graduation rates, 99% college acceptance, test scores well above state and national averages, 91% senior acceptance rates to their first-choice college, 99% participation in outstanding extracurricular programs, and faith values present in the classroom and beyond each and every day.