Ringgold High performers schedule encore show for Ukraine relief
March 14 – As nightmarish images from Ukraine fill our TV screens, the cast of ‘Catch Me If You Can’ take the stage to help.
No, it’s not Leo DiCaprio or Tom Hanks or those in the early 2000s movie about the true story of famous check kiter Frank Abagnale Jr.
Instead, it was the student cast of Ringgold High School in Georgia, who decided to add an encore performance of their musical version of “Catch Me If You Can” later this month, with 85% of the proceeds going to Save the Children’s Ukraine Relief Effort. .
Speak worthy of a standing ovation.
“What they’re seeing on the news and the photos and videos that have been sent in is heartbreaking,” said Jane Ellis, a Ringgold High alumna who is in her fifth year as a counselor/supervisor at the school performing arts team. “They asked to have a callback, then someone said it could be a fundraiser and someone else said we could do it for students in Ukraine.
“It was really a student-led idea that took off.”
After the original run of four successful shows earlier this year, cast, crew and faculty sponsors are set to break another leg on Monday, March 28 at the Robin L. Christian Performing Arts Theater. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. on the campus of Ringgold High. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at bit.ly/rhsshow.
“The top four were a full majority, but I think it will be the best crowd and performance yet,” said Ringgold senior Eli Talley, who plays Abagnale Jr., the man who made himself impersonating a doctor, an airline pilot, a lawyer, among others, to evade the FBI’s efforts to arrest him. “We are living this dream and doing what we love, and being able to help students like us in Ukraine makes it even more special.”
For Talley and his classmates — a collection of seniors Ellis calls “exceptional” — it’s like having another basketball game after the state tournament is over.
For Talley, who has accepted scholarships to pursue her performing arts career at Savannah College of Art and Design and may be up for some national high school acting awards this year, high school’s final curtain won’t be the end of the road.
But this extra chance to hang out with his theater family is not lost on him.
“You always think there’s bigger things in store, but we’ve tried — and with everyone’s help, really — to make this as big as possible,” Talley said. “This is the last hoorah, but it’s not over.”
Nor is it simply a victory lap for what Ellis called the most ambitious show the arts students at Ringgold put on during his time there.
“We have 16 amazing seniors, and this is their swan song,” Ellis said. “And we talk a lot in this connection program – with fellow students and the public – but it gives them a chance to connect with students on the other side of the world that they don’t even know.”
Contact Jay Greeson at [email protected] or 423-757-6273. Follow him on Twitter @jgreesontfp.