Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Wiregrass Ranch High student wins by design

Mrudula Peddiniti, 18, won the Critics’ Choice Award in tech for costume design in the District 14 Thespian Festival.


Mrudula Peddiniti, 18, won the Critics’ Choice Award in tech for costume design in the District 14 Thespian Festival.

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mrudula Peddiniti, 18, has spent more than a few moments performing in front of an audience, as an accomplished pianist, a singer in middle and high school choruses and an ensemble actor in theatrical productions of Guys and Dolls and Bye Bye Birdie held at Wiregrass Ranch High School.

In 2012 she earned a superior rating for her performance of On My Own from Les Miserables at the District 14 Thespian Festival.

This year the standout AP art student decided to combine her theatrical knowledge with her flair for visual arts by competing in the tech category, putting her own spin on costume designs for the musical South Pacific for district competition.

"There's a lot of Hawaiian stuff going on," Mrudula said of the designs she drew and accentuated with fabric swatches and dabs of textured paint. "I kind of went overboard."

That and an impressive oral presentation paid off when Mrudula came away with the Critics' Choice award in the tech category at the 2014 district thespian festival held in December at Kathleen High School in Lakeland.

"I skipped the note cards and went off script," Mrudula said. "It worked out. I got a lot of positive feedback."

It was the third year in a row that Wiregrass Ranch High School thespians took the Critics' Choice prize for the tech category, Wiregrass drama teacher Margaret Peacock said.

"It's incredible," she said. "The thing about tech is that I can take no credit at all. This is completely them."

The best thing about the tech award, Peacock said, "is that it acknowledges students that want to be a part of a production, but don't necessarily want to be on stage."

As with past winners, Mrudula will represent District 14 at the state thespian festival in March. Her designs will be showcased along with those of winners from other districts in a video montage shown during opening ceremonies.

In the meantime Mrudula, who is in her senior year, will be tweaking a few things for her presentation at the state festival while figuring out where to attend college. She has applied to five schools, including Harvard University, but most likely will settle on a school with strong graphic and performing arts programs.

"The arts is one of my greatest passions," she said. "I've always loved the arts."

Michele Miller can be reached at

Wiregrass Ranch High student wins by design 01/16/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 17, 2014 6:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.