Two seconds of your time could go a long way towards helping Seneca Valley Middle School’s performing arts program.
The school is one of 30 semifinalists in NBC’s ‘SMASH Make a Musical Contest.’
For the second year in a row, the creators of the hit television series that revolves around a Broadway musical have partnered with Lowe’s and iTheatrics in the contest to help schools across America improve their theaters.
The 30 semi-finalists from across the country, including Seneca Valley, were announced in March.
Now it will be up to voters to decide which schools receive the grand prize—a $3,000 gift certificate from Lowe’s to be used towards improving the school’s physical performance space.
Middle school theater teacher Andra Titus, who entered Seneca Valley in the contest, said community members may vote daily in the contest until 5 p.m. April 10.
The five schools with the most votes will each receive the gift card.
“We are excited about the opportunity for our students and the incredible exposure participating in this competition will bring to our performing arts program at Seneca Valley Middle School,” added district spokeswoman Linda Andreassi.
Titus, who said she sometimes takes drama students into the school hallways to practice because of a lack of space, said she saw an online ad for the contest March 6 while she was surfing the Internet.
Noting the deadline was that day, she quickly sent in an application for Seneca Valley, including a photo of students performing in the hallway with the caption “America, help us say goodbye to our plywood stage and hallway theater.”
She did not inform her students she had entered the contest until she learned Seneca Valley was among the semifinalists.
“They had no clue that I signed up for this because I thought it was a long shot,” she said.
Titus said students are now excited about their chance to win the grade prize. As a semifinalist in the contest, the school already will receive a free Broadway Junior ShowKit that includes the rights to perform a musical, two master classes with iTheatrics’ New York based master teachers, a local project advisor, two teacher stipends and a technical theater fund.
Should Seneca Valley win the grand prize, Titus already has big plans in place for the $3,000, including renovating the middle school's current plywood stage, adding a front curtain, replacing missing stage lights and more.
As of Thursday afternoon, Seneca Valley had 1,004 votes in the contest, putting them in 11th place.
Voting in the contest takes seconds and does not require users to sign into the site. To cast your vote for Seneca Valley, click here.
Spread the word and improve Seneca Valley chances to win the contest by sharing this story on your Facebook page. Simply click the “recommend” button at the top of the article.
Check out some of today's other top stories here.