Northeastern High School’s Lane Gross, right, played Capt. von Trapp in the school’s production of "Sound of Music." With Gross are,
Northeastern High School's Lane Gross, right, played Capt. von Trapp in the school's production of "Sound of Music." With Gross are, from right, Emily Gibbs, playing Maria, Lauren Billet (Liesl), Camryn Kurilla (Marta), Lauren Kelly (Brigitta) and in front Izzy Latshaw (Gretl). For more on theater's role in education, check out the video featuring high school students & teachers explaining how theater has helped them. (SUBMITTED)

Lane Gross will close the curtain on his high school theater career by attending a countywide performance that features the best York County has to offer.

Gross, a senior at Northeastern High School, will take the stage at Central York during Encore, the show that features eight minutes each of several high school productions in one setting.

This year, 13 schools are participating, with hopes of winning awards in an event that wraps up York County's theater season.

Gross was one of four students to win best male performer last year, when he played Danny from the musical "Grease." This year, he played Capt. Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music."

Celebratory night: Gross said the awards add an element of competition to the event, but Encore is mostly a celebration.

"It's just a day to hang out and enjoy what we do," he said.

Performers are judged in eight categories for awards during the night, including best dance performance and most creative performance. And this year is the first to include scholarship presentations.

Students applied for the three scholarships available, said Jim Craley, Encore chairman and Kennard-Dale High School theater director.

One award, named the Rozella Olp Anstine Scholarship, will award a student $2,000. Two other scholarships will be for $1,000, said Lyn Bergdoll, one of the event's organizers and the choreographer for the night.

Finale: Bergdoll will also help to organize the finale of the night, a performance showcasing four students from each of the participating schools. This year the students will perform "We Go Together" from "Grease."

Gross will have the opportunity to perform in that number, a way to tie together his past two years on the stage.

He will be joined in that performance by Alexis Webb, a senior at Kennard-Dale High School who attended Encore last year. Webb grew up dancing and found theater to be a natural extension of her love for the stage.

"It was kind of like the Tony awards," Webb said, comparing York's high school version to the show that honors Broadway performers.

Webb and Gross said it's an honor to be chosen by their directors to take part in the finale.

Improvements: The show is a chance for students to measure their work against other schools and to improve their own skills, said Northeastern director John Marrs. That's especially valuable for underclassmen who go, because they have a chance to perform in future high school productions.

"They bring that experience back with them, and that seems to motivate them to do their best," Marrs said.

Encore will be held at Central York High School at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 and are available on the website or by calling 866-967-8167.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at