ARTSNCT, Newcomerstown’s new arts center, is now accepting proposals from students in the tri-county area (Tuscarawas, Coshocton and Guernsey counties) for a once in a lifetime opportunity to choose, cast, direct, and present a stage play of their choice.

Eligibility requires that the applying student be in grades 9-12 for the 2019-2020 school year or recently graduated from high school in 2019.

Michael Wise, the center’s executive director, said, "We are looking for one special person who has been in school or community productions and has developed a special love for the theatre; a high school thespian, a theatre geek, or a creative individual that would like the chance to make a vision come alive.

"When I was a senior in high school, the teacher who was to direct the school plays reneged and when no other faculty member stepped up to the helm, I did."

During the first part of his high school senior year, Wise had organized a drama club at Newcomerstown Middle School. He shifted his attention to the high school when his proposal was accepted by its principal and school board. Without adult supervision, he proved that he could direct every aspect of the production.

Wise said, "I did it because I had a great theatre director for the two prior years. He inspired me with confidence and was a great teacher, director and friend."

Wise said that teacher was Richard Smith who later suggested to one of his students to pursue an acting career. That student, named Julie Smith, went on to become Oscar winner Julianne Moore.

Directing the high school play, "Send Me No Flowers," was a lifetime experience that Wise said he has never forgotten and now he wants to offer the same experience to one special individual.

ARTSNCT will obtain the rights, pay royalties, provide scripts, rehearsal, and performance space for the production. The center’s staff and volunteers will provide as much or as little assistance as the chosen director would like. ARTSNCT will retain all rights as the show's producer.

And here is the kicker ... ARTSNCT will split the box office profit with the young director and his cast.

For complete details rules, and an application, go to or email

Deadline for submitting proposals is Saturday, May 18. Performance dates will be announced.

ARTSNCT is located at 304 South College Street, Newcomerstown. For information, call 740)-575-5710 or go to