Andres Gutierrez, NBC 5 News
Two North Texas schools -- Dallas' Long Middle School and Plano's Jasper High School -- are finalists in a contest to improve the school's theater programs which was inspired by NBC 5's "Smash."
Two North Texas schools are finalists in the "Make a Musical" contest to have their performance space renovated.
Jasper High School and J.L. Long Middle School are among the 30 finalists in the contest that is a partnership between NBC’s show "Smash", Lowe's and iTheatrics, assisting schools across the nation to improve their theaters.
The five schools who get the top votes will receive gift cards of up to $3,000 from Lowe's.
Students and teachers at J.L. Long Middle School in Dallas and Jasper High School in Plano say money is needed to make big repairs to succeed in their craft.
"With all the budgets cuts that have happened over the years, every little bit counts," Renee Harris, the theater arts teacher at Jasper High School said.
"The stage is constantly used and so we need help revitalizing it," Russ Sims Teacher, the drama teacher at J.L. Long Middle School said.
Sims and his students have had to deal with ripped stage curtains, water damage and a precarious screen overhead.
"It's live action and you're on the stage and you're moving from place to place and you don't want to trip over it," Emery Weis, a student said.
Students at Jasper High School performed their production of "Oliver" on the stage located in the school's cafeteria.
If Jasper High School wins, its first priority is to cover the overhead windows to create blackout conditions during the shows and to include more indoor lighting.
The overall improvements will benefit the audience, too.
“We want to make our show the best we possibly can so we can reach our audience and that's what we're here to do and love doing that," Katelyn Deibert, a student said.
If you want to vote visit makeamusical.org, voting ends April 10.