H-F High’s Joy Woods selected a top high school performer in Illinois

  Joy Woods, in red and gold, in her award-winning
  role as Deloris Cartier in the Homewood-Flossmoor
  High School production of "Sister Act."
(Provided 
  photo)
 
Joy Woods, a June graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, performed as one of 24 outstanding Illinois high school students at the Broadway in Chicago-Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards on June 4.
 
“It was wonderful! I had an amazing time,” Woods said of the daylong event that included a workshop with Gabriella Sorrentino, a cast member for Chicago’s production of “Hamilton,” and an opportunity to perform two songs on stage at the awards show in the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.
 
To be selected, organizers evaluated 80 student productions. Woods was recognized for her role in the H-F musical production of “Sister Act” this school year. 
 
She took on the role of Deloris Van Cartier, who was portrayed by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie production. Deloris is a lounge singer who finds herself in a witness protection program in a convent after she sees her boyfriend carry out a murder. She inspires the nuns to improve their singing and expand their repertoire.

The role was just one of several Woods took on during her junior and senior years at H-F. As a young girl she took ballet lessons, and she was part of the choir and school musicals at Parker Junior High, but admits she wasn’t very serious about either.
 
Her freshman and sophomore years at H-F, Woods was a member of the varsity poms squad.
 
At the end of her sophomore year, Woods took part in the H-F production of “The Laramie Project,” a drama about the reactions of townspeople to the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay man in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998. 
 
“I wasn’t very into acting at that point, but I thought maybe I’ll try a show,” Woods said. For the next two years, she spoke, sang and danced on the stage of the Mall Auditorium. 
 
“Something happened when the seniors talked to us about their experiences and I just wanted to do this for the rest of my high school career,” Woods recalled. “I tried out for everything and did everything,” including performing a selection from “Hamilton” for Gov. Bruce Rauner during his 2017 visit the H-F. She also closed the Art Department’s recent Solar Wind program reading a piece she developed from poetry and prose.
 
Woods, the daughter of James and Dricel Woods, will be leaving Flossmoor mid-June for a summer session class at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York where she will be a freshman in fall. 
 
"Joy is without a doubt one of the most talented students to have come through our program,” said H-F teacher J.R. Rose. “In addition to being a triple threat performer (dancer, singer and actor), more importantly she is a kind, humble and giving artist. I am so proud to have played a part in her theatre training, and can not wait to see all her successes unfold."


 

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