School Department News

Noonkester School of Arts and Letters

Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 11:05am
William Carey University will hold commencement ceremonies on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8 in Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
The Friday ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. for doctoral candidates from the School of Education and the Fail School of Nursing as well as Specialist in Education candidates from both the Hattiesburg and Tradition campuses. The speaker will be Dr. Chuck Benigno, superintendent of the Laurel School District.
Three ceremonies will be held on Saturday, beginning with the 9:30 a.m. ceremony for graduate students from the Hattiesburg campus. The speaker is Jermaine Brown, principal of Hattiesburg High School.
The second Saturday ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. for undergraduate students from the Hattiesburg campus. The speaker is Dr. Steven Bishop, president of Southwest Mississippi Community College in McComb.
The final Saturday ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. for graduate and undergraduate students from the Tradition campus. Dr. Argile Smith, pastor of Parkway Baptist Church in Biloxi and former interim president of Louisiana College, will be the speaker.
For more information on Carey’s commencement ceremonies, contact the registrar’s office at (601) 318-6051.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 3:39pm
An essay by Dr. Lorie Watkins, an associate professor of language and literature at William Carey University, has been published in “Faulkner’s Geographies,” a book exploring fictional locations created by Mississippi author and Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner.
The essay by Watkins, titled “Woman in Motion: Escaping Yoknapatawpha,” was originally presented at the 2011 Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, which is held annually in Faulkner’s hometown of Oxford. The book, published by the University Press of Mississippi and co-edited by Faulkner scholars Jay Watson and Ann Abadie, collects selected essays read at the conference and is part of a series of Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha books.
Watson said in his introduction to the book that the essay by Watkins “draws on the work of feminist geographers to detail the way women experience and use space in Faulkner’s writings.” Watson adds that the collection as a whole demonstrates “the exciting potential of social and historical geography as a window onto Faulkner’s work.”
Watkins is the author of “William Faulkner, Gavin Stevens and the Cavalier Tradition,” published in 2011. She is currently working on “Writing in the Crooked Letter State,” a history of Mississippi literature for the University Press Heritage Series. Watkins is also the editor of the annual Publications of the Mississippi Philological Association, also known as POMPA.
For more information on the book or to purchase it, visit
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 1:13pm
William Carey University hosted a regional workshop for the Mississippi Foreign Language Association at the Hattiesburg campus on July 24.
The workshop, now in its fourth year at Carey, is held for teachers to share experiences they have in their respective classrooms and to also learn new ways of instructing their students.
Seven presenters were featured, including Sirlene Capers, South Jones High School; Erica Scott, Delisle Elementary School in Pass Christian; Edgar Serrano, the University of Mississippi and Oxford University School; Dr. Aurora Fiengo-Varn, Gulfport High School; Yohanna Jimenez, St. Luke’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama; Lucy Solano, Petal High School; and Hector Barberena, Pascagoula High School. Jimenez, a former president of the state foreign language association, served as coordinator of the workshop.
Topics covered at the workshop ranged from the benefits of educational travel for high school students to using social network site Pinterest as a resource for teachers. The presentation given by Fiengo-Varn and Jimenez, titled “Optimizing YouTube Videos in the World Language Classroom,” and the presentation given by Serrano, titled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Really,” tied for “Best of Mississippi” at the 2014 association state conference.
In addition to the presentations, attendees also learned about various foreign language professional associations and enjoyed a luncheon and door prizes.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 8:39am
The 40th anniversary season of Carey Dinner Theatre continues with “Beehive,” a musical tribute to popular female singers of the 1960s, from July 7-18 in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey University.
Created by the late Larry Gallagher, “Beehive” acknowledges the contributions of female musicians and showcases Aretha Franklin, Lesley Gore, Janis Joplin and The Shirelles. The musical also takes the audience on a chronological journey through the decade from beehive hairdos to hippie fashions. Reviews of the musical state that the show is “…designed as a fun and kitschy nostalgic romp, which includes comedy and dance, for a night of entertainment bigger than the highest-teased hairdo.”
The audience is treated to 40 of the decade’s most memorable songs including “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “One Fine Day,” “Natural Woman,” “Proud Mary,” “Me and Bobby Magee,” “Where the Boys Are” and “Make Your Own Kind of Music.”
The four female performers are Jamie Ferguson of Clinton; Heather Pate of Greenwood; McKenzie Pollock of Vicksburg; and Holly Marie Weber of Tampa, Fla. The musical is directed by Tim Matheny, chair of the Carey Department of Theatre and Communication, with musical direction from Dr. Howard Keever, a Carey professor of music. The scenic designer is Chris Permenter of Hattiesburg with Bronwyn Teague of Tupelo serving as lighting designer. Kelly James-Penot and Wes Hanson, both of the University of Southern Mississippi theatre department staff, serve as costume designer and technical director, respectively.
“This is an all-encompassing musical representing the decade, not just one genre of that decade,” said Matheny. “The music reflects the changing times and attitudes of the sixties. From the innocent early part of the decade … through the war and Civil Rights Movement … to women’s rights, the music is indicative of the changing dynamics of women, as well as their art during that time.”
Technicians for the dinner theatre are Connor Bingham of Jackson; Ben Salters of Carriere; Heather Steward of Wellford, S.C.; Savannah McCarty of Hattiesburg; John Tyler Robinson of Hattiesburg; Katie Welch of Pontotoc; and Elizabeth Wiggins of Senatobia. Box office staffers are Logan McCarty of Hattiesburg; Miranda Rester of Sumrall; and Rebekah Romack of Hattiesburg.
The admission price of $30 includes a buffet meal, the show and sales tax. Dinner is served at 7 p.m. and the performance follows. The box office is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call (601) 318-6221 to make reservations.
Saturday, May 16, 2015 - 2:18pm
Carey Dinner Theatre, "Mississippi's unique dinner theatre," celebrates its 40th season in 2015 with two musicals in June and July at the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey University.
The first show is "Church Basement Ladies," a musical comedy by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlke with music and lyrics by Drew Jansen. The story takes place in the heart and soul of the church, the basement kitchen, where several ladies cook meals and perform other tasks for the congregation. In the funny, down-to-earth comedy, the ladies handle a traditional Norwegian fish dinner, a funeral and a fundraiser while starving off potential disasters, having fun, sharing and debating recipes, instructing the young and keeping the pastor on course. The show features original songs including "Closer to Heaven," "The Pale Food Polka" and "Mother of the Bride." The show runs June 11-27.
The second show, "Beehive," is a musical tribute to the popular female singers of the 1960s. Written by Larry Gallagher, "Beehive" takes the audience on a chronological journey through the decade, from its beehive hairdos to its hippie fashions and beyond. Along the way the audience is treated to 40 of the decade's most memorable songs including "My Boyfriend's Back," "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," "Natural Woman," "Proud Mary," "Me and Bobby Magee," "Where the Boys Are" and "Make Your Own Kind of Music." The show runs July 7-18.
Carey Dinner Theatre was founded in 1975 when O. L. Quave, then-chair of the Department of Theatre and Communication at Carey, and other faculty and staff members wanted to give their young performers a professional and educationally sound opportunity to express their talents in a unique format. There was also a desire to offer the public quality entertainment that the whole family could enjoy. Out of these goals and ideas, the dinner theatre was born.
Two students, Keith Thompson and Jay Rogers, wrote and composed "It's Make Believe," a musical, which was produced in the first season of what was then called Carey Summer Showcase. The 1975 show, with its four performers, technicians, office personnel and staff, launched one of Mississippi's most valuable summer traditions.
A distinctive feature of Carey Dinner Theatre from the beginning has been that student members serve tables during dinner. By the time the performance has started, each person in the audience has had some personal contact with at least one member of the dinner theatre's company.
Selected from auditions held every spring, college students from across the country try out for performing, technical and clerical positions. Over 50 schools, including a large number of schools from the Deep South, have been represented by members of the company. Examples of schools represented include Vanderbilt, Julliard, Wake Forest and Duke. Dinner theatre alumni can be found across the country in professional and educational theatres and in a wide variety of professions not specifically related to theatre.
The admission price of $30 includes a buffet meal, program book, the show and sales tax. The box office will open June 1 and will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Individuals interested in becoming dinner theatre contributors receive special privileges, including invitations to the annual pre-season open house and early box office access. Call (601) 318-6221 to make reservations, be added to the mailing list or to receive contributor information.