School Department News

Theatre and Communication

Thursday, June 2, 2016 - 2:56pm
Carey Dinner Theatre, the 2016 winner of the Pine Belt Public Image Award for bringing quality family entertainment to the Pine Belt, will celebrate its 41st season 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 Second Helping,” the sequel to last year’s comedy hit “Church Basement Ladies,” a musical 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. The show runs June 16 through July 2.
The second show is “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” a musical featuring more than 30 songs from the 50s and 60s. We meet Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy in crinoline skirts at the 1958 high school prom and then again 10 years later at their school reunion. This trip down memory lane includes such songs as “Mr. Sandman,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “You Don’t Own Me,” “It’s My Party,” “Rescue Me,” and “Respect.” The show runs July 12 through 23.
The admission price of $30 includes a buffet meal, the show and sales tax. The box office is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 601-318-6221 to make reservations or to be added to the mailing list. The box office opens to the public Monday, June 6.
Friday, May 20, 2016 - 2:29pm
Thirteen William Carey University theatre students were honored at the 2016 Theatre Awards Dinner. This annual event recognizes the contributions and talents of theatre majors and students of other majors who participate in theatre throughout the academic year. 
Nadia Trinanes of Hattiesburg was named Most Valuable Player. This is the theatre’s most prestigious award and is voted on by the students. She also received an Acting Achievement Award, a Technical Excellence Award, and the Shannon T. Robert Theatre Scholarship. This scholarship was established in 2007 by WCU alumnus John Clearman in honor of Robert’s exemplary service to WCU and its students as a member of the theatre department faculty.
Additional Acting Achievement Awards were presented to Branden Lindsay of Simpsonville, South Carolina; Liberty Sites of Crestview, Florida; and Damien Williams of Chunchula, Alabama. Acting Awards are voted on by a secret panel of persons outside the theatre who have attended every major production by WCU Theatre throughout the year. Lindsay also received the O. L. Quave Theatre Scholarship. This fund was established in 2001 on the occasion of “Echoes for Excellence,” a tribute to Quave and his years of service to WCU. Williams received the Mark Wilkinson Scholarship. Friends of the late Mark Wilkinson, a theatre graduate of WCU, established this annual scholarship for a theatre major.
Taylor Abbott and Nicoli Hutchison, both of Picayune received the Bob Crumpton Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was established by Allison Chestnut in memory of a civic and denominational leader of Pensacola, Florida, and is given to a theatre major.
Treya Brown of Hattiesburg received the Obra Quave Legacy of Learning Scholarship. This scholarship honors faculty of Carey for their years of service with a Learning Legacy Dinner. Proceeds from the dinner fund the scholarship. 
Johonna Bush of Foxworth was awarded the Norma Sullivan Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the 1921 Mississippi Women’s College graduate and faithful patron of Carey music and theatre.
Amanda Campbell of Picayune received the Joyce Quave Roberts Memorial Scholarship, which honors the memory of the sister of professor emeritus Obra L. Quave who served as chair of the theatre and communication department for more than 40 years. She also received a Technical Excellence Award. 
Devon Griggs of Picayune received the R. E. Cromis Memorial Scholarship which is awarded to a theatre major in memory of the husband of Mrs. Wilda Cromis of Pontiac, Mich.
Ben Salters of Ocean Springs received the William Shakespeare Award. This award is given by Dr. Allison Chestnut to a theatre major in recognition of their scholarship in theatre and to honor the English playwright. 
Deshawn Weston of Desoto, Texas, was awarded the Obra L. Quave Scholarship. This fund was established in 2001 on the occasion of “Echoes for Excellence,” a tribute to Quave and his years of service to WCU.
Victoria Wetter of Forsythe, Missouri, received the Theatre Service and Appreciation Award. This new award is given to a theatre major who goes above and beyond in service to the theatre program. 
Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 3:08pm
Auditions and interviews for cast and crew positions for the 41st season of Carey Dinner Theatre will be held beginning at 10 a.m. on March 12 in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey University.
The dinner theatre, which was founded in 1975, presents two musicals in June and July. In its history, more than 60 colleges and universities have been represented by students in the company. Company members, including performers and staff members, are paid. The financial package includes a salary, tips (company members serve during dinner), and housing.
Those auditioning as performers will present a one-minute monologue from a modern prose play (no dialect) and a one-minute vocal selection from a Broadway musical. Those auditioning will also participate in a dance audition. An accompanist will be available, but will not transpose. Taped accompaniment may be used. Each person who auditions should bring comfortable clothes for the dance audition.
Audition requirements for pianists include a prepared two-minute selection from a Broadway musical. Sight reading will be required.
Interviews will be held for technicians, costume assistants, house/box office managers and office assistants. Each person will complete an application and an interview with dinner theatre staff. Portfolios are encouraged. Performers may also apply for staff positions.
Each applicant should bring a headshot to the audition or interview. Contracts are offered only to those who have graduated from high school by May 30, 2016. The company commitment is May 30 through July 25.
For more information, call (601) 318-6218 or email
Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 3:28pm
William Carey University’s Carey Dinner Theatre was awarded the second annual Pine Belt Image Award during the Pine Belt chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s annual awards banquet at Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg on January 19.
The Image Award recognizes an organization or individual for an achievement in public relations which significantly improves the image of the Pine Belt on a regional or national scale, or which greatly increases the quality of life of a segment of the area’s residents or the region as a whole. The inaugural award recipient in 2014 was FestivalSouth, Mississippi’s only multi-week, multi-genre arts festival.
Carey Dinner Theatre was founded in 1975 when Obra Quave, then-chair of Carey’s Department of Theatre and Communication, 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 to the public quality entertainment that the whole family could enjoy.
A distinctive feature of the dinner theatre from the beginning has been that student company 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 in the company. More than 50 schools have been represented by company members. Examples of schools represented include Vanderbilt, Julliard, Wake Forest and Duke.
The dinner theatre’s two productions are presented in June and July. For the 40th season in 2015, the company presented “Church Basement Ladies,” a musical comedy by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlke with music and lyrics by Drew Jansen, and “Beehive,” a musical tribute to the popular female singers of the 1960s written by Larry Gallagher.
“Carey has a long history of excellence in theatre, including the widely acclaimed Carey Dinner Theatre,” said Dr. Tommy King, Carey president. “Outstanding faculty and wonderful students have made the theatre program a success.”
The 41st season’s production schedule and show selections will be announced in May. Auditions for cast and crew positions will begin in March. For more information on the dinner theatre, visit, email or call (601) 318-6218.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - 3:32pm
Keone Fuqua, a William Carey University theatre professor, will appear on the silver screen in the upcoming Christian film “Yellow Day.”
The film, directed by Carl Lauten, follows a young man’s journey through the Yellow Day, a “miraculous day where the world is revealed as seen through the eyes of God,” according to a review in The Christian Post. The film was produced in Mobile, Alabama, and uses both live action and high-quality animation to reveal how God’s grace changes lives.
Fuqua, chair of Carey’s Department of Theatre and Communication since August 2015, portrays the janitor, Joseph, in the film. Without revealing the plot of the film, Fuqua said his character is “used to help a couple come together … he is used by God in an indirect way in the film.” His involvement with the film started through a friendship with G.P. Galle Jr., the film’s writer.
“I was inspired by his desire to make a movie without compromising his faith,” said Fuqua.
In addition to his character role, Fuqua also did early pre-production work on the film. Fuqua, formerly the director of film and theatre at the University of Mobile, has portrayed characters in a number of films, including “The Perfect Weapon,” an upcoming sci-fi film starring Steven Seagal. Other films in Fuqua’s portfolio include “Night Claws” and “The Dragon Warrior.”
“Yellow Day” opened on Christmas Day in Mobile but will expand to 80 additional theaters on January 8, including The Grand Theatre on Grand Drive in Hattiesburg.
For more information on the film, visit