Nevin to appear in All-State production

Courtesy photo
RILEY NEVIN, a junior at Coal City High School, will take the stage this week as Radames in the Illinois High School Theatre Festival’s All-State production of Aida. Nevin is one of 40 students from across the state to be cast in the musical and he assumes the male lead role in the production. An additional 21 theatre students from the school will take part in the festival being held at Illinois State University.

The Illinois High School Theatre Festival, the largest and oldest non-competitive high school theatre festival in the nation, gets underway this week, and a Coal City High School junior has the male lead role.
Coal City High School is sending 22 students to the two-day event being held at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal. Students will take part in a series of workshops and master classes that will be highlighted by the All-State production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida featuring their classmate Riley Nevin in the role of Radames.
Aida features a select ensemble of the top high school actors, technicians, and musicians from throughout the state of Illinois.
A junior at CCHS, Nevin has been performing since intermediate school and was most recently seen as Miles Tuck in the high school’s 2019 production of Tuck Everlasting. This past summer he took the stage with Small Town Theatrics for its productions of Hairspray (Link Larkin) and Once On This Island (Storyteller).
Nevin was one of 178 students who auditioned for the All-State production in June 2019. Ninety-eight were selected—40 actors/actresses, 44 crew members and 14 student musicians. Over a series of weekends during the first semester of the school year, Nevin took part in full cast rehearsals with final rehearsals occurring in the week leading up to the festival performances.
Winner of four 2000 Tony Awards, Aida is an epic tale of love, loyalty and betrayal, chronicling the love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess stolen from her country, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, the Egyptian soldier they both love.
Aida finds her heart entangled with Radames, who is betrothed to the Pharaoh's daughter, Amneris. As their forbidden love blossoms, Aida is forced to weigh her heart against the responsibility that she faces as the leader of her people. Aida and Radames' love for one another becomes a shining example of true devotion that ultimately transcends the vast cultural differences between their warring nations, heralding a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity.
“The 2020 Illinois High School Theatre Festival All-State production of Aida truly celebrates the Festival theme, I Still Believe,” said All-State Director Allan Kimball, a retired professor from Southeastern Illinois College.
Held in the Braden Auditorium at Illinois State University, Aida runs Jan. 9 through 11, however it is a closed event, so there are no public tickets available for the performances.
Over 4,500 will take part in the festival that will include workshops on topics ranging from acting, auditions and improvisation to stage management, costumes and special effects.
Another highlight of the IHSTF includes the college/university auditions for high school juniors and seniors. Students who plan to pursue theatre or musical theatre in college may audition/interview for theatrical programs in and around the state of Illinois. In the past, there have been over 35 colleges/universities in attendance.
Along with Nevin, CCHS students taking part in this year’s festival are Lucci Hakey, Sophia Jakubowski, Alexis Medina, Gabrielle Cinotto, Emma Kenney, Natalie Durham, Megan Thayer, Kaylee Groves, Zoe Smith, Brecken Johnson, Madison Holcomb, McKenna Patten, Izzy Kostbade, Anjalie Medina, Eli Fritz, Griffin Johnson, Cody Rogers, Aiden Kostbade, AJ Rodrigues, Kit Clayburn and DeKotah Reuger.
The 2020 festival is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council and corporate donations.