Hillside High drama team gets tips from an Oscar-nominee

Joel Brown Image
Friday, April 13, 2018
Hillside High theater students return from Hollywood
One of the highlights of the trip was meeting with Oscar-nominated director Kevin Wilson Jr., himself a Hillside alum.

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- The talented teenagers from Hillside High School's vaunted theater program arrived back in the Triangle on Thursday evening after a week in Hollywood, showing off their acting chops and hobnobbing with an Oscar-nominated director.

Parents and friends gathered inside Terminal 2 at RDU to welcome back Hillside's One Voice acting troupe from its eight-day trip to California.

The Durham drama team gave two performances, toured Paramount Studios and took acting classes from a prominent Hollywood casting agent.

They said the highlight of the trip was meeting director Kevin Wilson Jr., who was recently nominated for an Oscar for his short film, "My Nephew Emmitt."

Wilson is also a proud alumnus of Hillside and its drama program.

"(Wilson) coming from Durham and then coming from the same school and the same program that we're in really makes it seem that it's possible for you to go in the same field that he's in," said Hillside junior Daniella Ochman.

Senior Natalie Perkins smiled from ear to ear recalling the trip and the conversation with Wilson.

"Just getting to talk with him and getting his insight as a director was just an amazing opportunity," she said.

Hillside High's drama exchange program has sent students to study and perform in Cuba, Europe, Asia and Africa.