NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Manteo music teacher shuttles students to Norfolk to see their first play after winning state grant

Holli Writtenberry gave students the opportunity of a lifetime
Manteo Elementary School students visit Hurrah Players.PNG
Posted at 9:55 PM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 22:40:27-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Students at Manteo Elementary School were thrilled to be at the Hugh Copeland Center for a production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" after receiving a grant.

Forty-five elementary school students from Manteo, North Carolina, drove more than 100 miles to get to Norfolk to meet the cast and see a rehearsal for the show. The bus was driven by the students' music teacher, Holli Writtenberry.

Writtenberry applied for and won a state grant to bring the students. Writtenberry says her students have never seen live actors on stage before.

"Most of our students have never actually seen a live musical, and we’re working on producing ones ourselves. To have the opportunity to see the Hurrah Players in action, the students are just beside themselves," Writtenberry tells News 3 reporter Leondra Head.

"As our students are preparing to perform shows, they need to see live theater and actually see examples of the art. We’ve missed out on the last few years of COVID, so the opportunity to travel to see the Hurrah Players and take a field trip, it builds camaraderie," Writtenberry said.

Hugh Copeland, the founder of the Hurrah Players, Inc. theater company, says the cast is excited to welcome the students.

"When you find somebody from North Carolina that says, 'What do we have to do to be a part of this,' we invite them up. They got a grant to meet the cast, watch the rehearsals," Copeland said.

The students will return in April to see "The Little Mermaid."