School Department News

Theatre and Communication

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.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 2:29pm
Eleven William Carey University theatre students were honored at the 2015 Theatre Awards Dinner, an annual event recognizing the contributions and talents of theatre majors and students of other majors who participate in theatre throughout the academic year. 
Chris Permenter of Hattiesburg was named Most Valuable Player. This is the theatre’s most prestigious award and is voted on by the students.
Acting Achievement Awards were presented to Billy Burkes of Meridian; Branden Lindsay of Simpsonville, S.C.; Miranda Rester of Hattiesburg; and Nadia Trinanes of Hattiesburg. Acting Awards are voted on by a secret panel outside of the theatre who have attended every major production by Carey Theatre throughout the year.
Lindsay also received the Ryan Gill Memorial Scholarship established by Carey Theatre and Communication Chair Tim Matheny and funded by friends in honor of the 1994 theatre graduate. Rester also received the Joyce Quave Roberts Scholarship, which honors the memory of the sister of Professor Emeritus Obra L. Quave, chair of theatre and communication for more than 40 years. Trinanes also received the R.E. Cromis I Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to a theatre major in memory of the husband of Wilda Cromis of Pontiac, Mich.
Technical Achievement Awards were presented to Jana Barkley of Picayune and Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, Ga. Technical Awards are voted on by theatre faculty based on achievement in the design and technical aspects of theatre. Roderick also received the Shannon T. Robert Theatre Award. This scholarship was established in 2007 by Carey alumnus John Clearman in honor of Robert’s exemplary service to Carey and its students as a member of the theatre department faculty.
Taylor Abbott of Picayune received the Obra L. Quave Scholarship, established in 2001 on the occasion of “Echoes for Excellence,” a tribute to Quave and his years of service to Carey. Amanda Campbell of Nicholson received the Obra Quave Legacy of Learning Scholarship while Ashlyn Watts of Picayune received the O.L. Quave Theatre Scholarship, a scholarship also established by Clearman in honor of Quave.
Nicoli Huthison of Carriere received the Mark Wilkinson Scholarship. Friends of the late Mark Wilkinson, a Carey theatre graduate, established this annual scholarship for a theatre major.
Logan McCarty of Hattiesburg received the Bob Crumpton Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was established by Dr. Allison Chestnut in memory of the civic and denominational leader from Pensacola, Fla., and is given to a theatre major.
Rebekah Romack of Poplarville received the Norma W. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship, which is named in honor of the 1921 Mississippi Woman’s College graduate and faithful patron of Carey music and theatre.
Monday, April 27, 2015 - 10:53am
William Carey University theatre major Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, Ga., recently won the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival national first place award for sound design.
Roderick designed, produced and created sound for the Carey theatre production “Scenes from Argonautika.”
“I’m still in shock,” said Roderick. “The caliber of competition on the national level was extremely high. I just felt lucky to win regionals. Going on to win the national tournament is a huge blessing in that I’ve been offered many opportunities for further education and possible employment opportunities when I graduate from Carey.”
Tim Matheny, chair of the Carey theatre and communication department, said, “I am extremely excited for Joey and so proud of this recognition of his fine work. He is a valued member of the Carey Theatre family and I know that he will go on to great things.”
Roderick did not originally come to Carey for sound design. 
“Actually I had no idea that sound design existed until I came to Carey,” said Roderick. “I was introduced to it my freshman year and I fell in love with it. I’ve been surrounded by music since I was a kid and would later record my own. I was always experimenting with sounds, so I felt very comfortable with this from the start.”
Roderick’s brother Michael is a Carey graduate. When Joey was looking for a university, his brother recommended the theatre program. After visiting for the first time, Joey “felt at home.”
Roderick said, “Always be open to whatever God presents you with in life. Explore the doors He opens and use the abilities He has given you. I'm blessed beyond measure to have received my award and fellowship, but I wouldn't be here if I didn't take the opportunity given to me and put myself into it entirely.”
Roderick’s hard work helped him earn several prizes at the Kennedy Center including a two-week trip to Prague in the Czech Republic for an arts festival and a three-month summer intensive learning experience at the Eugene O’Neil Theatre Center in Waterford, Conn. 
KCACTF hosts a series of state and national festivals for each of the eight regions that make up the United States. Mississippi competes in Region IV, which includes Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Adjudicators attend performances throughout the academic year. They may choose to nominate student designers from these shows to advance to regionals. Students then present samples of their works at the regional festivals and winners are selected based on their design work. The first place winners receive a trip to a week-long intensive workshop in their field of study in Washington, D.C.
Roderick is currently looking into employment and higher education opportunities.
“I plan to work after I graduate from Carey next year,” said Roderick. “I believe real world experience in sound will benefit me most at this point in my life. I can then decide if graduate school is the right choice for me. That is … unless someone makes me an offer I can't refuse.”
Monday, April 20, 2015 - 8:24am
The William Carey University Theatre will host professional puppeteer Peter Zapletal and Puppet Arts Theatre’s production of “The Adventure of Momotaro the Peach Boy” at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 23 in Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
One of the most popular children’s stories in Japan, “The Adventure of Momotaro the Peach Boy” is a folk tale meant to educate and build character. It tells the story of Momotaro, a boy born from a peach, and his adventures with his friends, the Dog, the Monkey, and the Pheasant.
Puppet Arts Theatre is a member of the professional Touring and Teaching Artists of the Mississippi Arts Commission. Zapletal, the artistic director for the puppet theatre, grew up in the former Czechoslovakia, which is recognized as the world center of modern puppetry. Zapletal is the winner of more than 50 national awards in puppetry performances, including five Emmy Awards.
Tickets are $3 and can be purchased at the Smith Auditorium before the show. The box office will be open from 8:30 until 9:30 a.m. in the lobby of Thomas Fine Arts Center.
The performance is funded in part by grants from the Arts Commission and the JASMIS Foundation.
Friday, March 27, 2015 - 8:35am
The William Carey University Theatre will present John Cariani’s romantic comedy “Almost, Maine” at 7:30 p.m. from April 9-11 and at 2 p.m. on April 11 in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus.
The play is a series of 11 vignettes that explore love and loss in the remote and mythical town of “Almost, Maine.” Carey students performing multiple roles include Taylor Abbott of Picayune; Billy Burkes of Meridian; Nicoli Hutchison of Picayune; Logan McCarty of Hattiesburg; Miranda Rester of Oak Grove; Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, Ga.; Rebekah Romack of Poplarville; Liberty Sites of Crestview, Fla.; Nadia Trinanes of Hattiesburg; and Ashlyn Watts of Picayune.
The production is directed by Tim Matheny, chair of the Department of Theatre and Communication. Dewey Douglas of the theatre faculty is mentor for student designers. Scenic designer is Billy Burkes. Costume, makeup and hair designer is Ashlyn Watts. Jana Barkley of Picayune is lighting designer and the sound designer is Joey Roderick. Properties designer is Rebekah Romack.  
Carey faculty, staff and students are admitted free of charge. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for military and senior citizens and $5 for students. Reservations can be made by calling 601-318-6221. The box office is open from 1 until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning April 6.