Paulding County, North Paulding and East Paulding high schools are some of the schools with thriving drama departments.
Grant Brown, drama teacher at East Paulding, is in his 11th year at the school and has seen his drama group come a long way, he said. Brown teaches drama classes, and sponsors the One-Act Play group.
East beat 14 other schools in the region for the title. After winning the region the group went on to place fifth at the state level, he said.
The play they performed was “Epic Proportions,” which is set in the 1930s as two brothers fight for the affections of a member of the film crew.
“It is a real crowd pleaser,” Brown said.
The group was chosen to perform the play at the 2013 Georgia Thespian Conference in Columbus, he said.
A turning point for East Paulding, Paulding County and Hiram high schools was when county residents approved a 2005-2006 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to build theaters and auxiliary gyms for the three schools, Brown said.
Both Brown and Ginger Corley, Fine Art Department chair at Paulding County High School, said before the theaters were built they had to perform in their gyms or at Chattahoochee Technical College in Dallas.
Corley said Paulding County High School has been performing plays since its opening in 1969. The department organizes at least two plays a year, she said. About 40 students are working on their spring musical, “Legally Blonde: The Musical.”
“We really have a wealth of talent at Paulding County,” she said.
One alumnus, Chase Davidson, has been on the national tour of “Spring Awakening” with a performing company based in Los Angeles, and now performs opera, Corley said.
North Paulding is in its second year of offering a Thespian Society, said Dianna Long, drama teacher at North.
A Thespian Society is an honor society for drama students.
The organization inducted 10 new members on Jan. 10, which brings them to 17 members, she said. To be named Thespian students must accumulate 100 hours of service to the plays in production.
“That is all after school only,” Long said.
Long is also in her second year at North Paulding. Before she came the school, which opened in 2007, did not have a full-time drama teacher, she said. Long said the drama students needed a teacher who could give them undivided attention.
“I think they [students] were waiting for me,” she said.