SCS teacher, students surprised with $5K for spring theatre production

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For months, students at a Mid-South high school have prepared for their spring theatre production.

When concerns about funding put the show in jeopardy, the students and their teacher all-but gave up.

FOX13’s Winnie Wright brought the story of the surprise that saved the show.

You’ve heard the old saying ‘the show must go on.’

“It’s expensive,” said Noelia Jones, East High School theatre teacher. “We’re talking about costumes, we’re talking about set pieces, we’re talking about lights and sound and all of those things that make the production come to life.”

Jones teaches theatre at East High School.

This year, her kids chose Shrek the Musical for their spring production.

Jones said she knew she’d find a way to make it happen, even if it meant to dip into her own pockets.

Then this happened.

“I had no idea,” she said. “I actually thought when my principle called me to the office, that I was in trouble.”

Jones was gifted $5,000 to make Shrek the Musical come to life.

“It brought me to tears because I could only put myself in her place and think about the challenges I had as a teacher, the times I needed and someone had to come to my rescue,” said Althea Greene, Shelby County School Board Commissioner.

It’s Reverend Greene’s first year as a member of the Shelby County School Board.

Before that, she was an SCS teacher for 38 years.

“Schools don’t always have money to do small projects, or some big projects like curtains for the stage,” Greene said.

But there is $125,000 awarded to each school board commissioner each year to help their schools where they see fit.

All they have to do is ask.

That’s exactly what one brave student did when she saw her chance.

“I went back to the young lady and said ‘I appreciate the fact that you had an ask. You told me specifically what needed about the upcoming production,’” Greene said.

And just like that, their wish was granted.

Greene provided the money needed.

The show will go on and everyone involved got a lesson in never giving up hope.

“Even now, I’m just like oh my god, is this a dream,” Jones said.

Shrek the Musical will take the stage in May.

We will be sure to let you know when all the final details are set.