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Pascagoula High School Performing Arts center back to full capacity

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:17 PM CDT
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - The Pascagoula High School Performing Arts Center is back in full swing hosting events and, more importantly, providing opportunities for students to embrace their passions.

On Tuesday, Pascagoula High School theater students rehearsed their skits before the big performance on Wednesday, and sophomore Martina Nelson said this is her time to shine.

“I was so excited,” Nelson said. “I wanted to just get my instinct out there to the world and let everybody feel how awesome I am.”

This premier venue provides unique opportunities for students. Pascagoula High School Performing Arts Center Fine Arts Coordinator Brandon Wilson said the center helps students embrace their passions.

“One of the big things that we focus on in the arts is about student experiences,” Wilson said. “Giving them world-class experiences that they wouldn’t necessarily get somewhere else.”

Behind the scenes, students even get the chance to learn about the center’s state-of-the-art equipment. Pascagoula High School sophomore Alissa Ackerman said because of her experience in theater in this school year, she is going to take Theatre Production in 11th grade.

“I like the fact that I get to have a hands-on experience with the intimacy of theater,” Ackerman said.

It’s an experience that Pascagoula High School freshman Tristen Fortenberry said helps students build confidence and overcome anxiety.

“You use your nervousness to get better,” Fortenberry said. “You get very excited when you’re up on stage. I know you got the jitters, but it’s pretty fun.”

Beyond high school theater, Wilson said the Pascagoula High School Performing Arts Center has already booked events into 2022.

“We have a fantastic slate of performances coming up. Our mission is really about the performing arts at the end of the day and how we can connect the arts in our district to the arts in our community and then just to the community at large,” Wilson said. “The Smithsonian is going to be doing an exhibit here called Voices and Votes. That’s going to be in the Fall of ’22. We also have a handshake agreement with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra to perform in January of ’22.”

The Pascagoula Performing Arts Center hosted a dance and gymnastics recital on May 8, which was the venue’s first full capacity event since the beginning of the pandemic.

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