School Department News

Theatre and Communication

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
Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 2:33pm
The William Carey University Theatre will present “Herbert and the Magic Mirror,” an original play for children by Jeanna Graves, at 7 p.m. on December 10-12 in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus.
The play is about cousins Shelby and Robert as they spend the afternoon with a “strange little guy” who comes out of their grandmother’s old mirror. Herbert likes to play games, tell jokes, learn new words and have fun. With friend Susie, they learn not to judge people.
The cast includes Shelby (Victoria Wetter of Forsyth, Missouri); Robert (Devin Griggs of Picayune); Nana (Anissa Smith of Pass Christian); Susie (Jena Mazique of Lena); and Herbert (Damien Williams of Chunchula, Alabama). “Herbert” is based on a short story by Graves that was selected for presentation at the 2014 Mississippi Philological Association conference.
The production is entirely designed by students.
“Our students design every aspect of our shows,” said director Dewey Douglas of the theatre faculty. “The play takes place in the children’s bedroom at their grandmother’s house. Using lighting, sound, props, costumes and set, the students bring Herbert’s world to life.”
Keone Fuqua, chair of the Department of Theatre and Communication, and Douglas, who is also technical director, are mentors for the students. Scenic designer is Logan McCarty of Hattiesburg. The costume designer is Ben Salters of Ocean Springs. Amanda Campbell of Picayune is lighting designer and Victoria Wetter is sound designer. Hair and makeup designer is Ashlyn Watts of Picayune. Properties manager is Nadia Trinanes of Hattiesburg. Haylee Green of Purvis is the assistant director.
“The WCU Theatre inspires our students to explore their talents both on-stage and off,” said Douglas. “It is important to us that they are marketable when they graduate, whether they go on to graduate school or enter the professional world. To that end, we encourage playwriting, dramaturgy and other aspects of the theatre besides just design and performance.”
Graves received her bachelor’s degree in communications and her master’s degree in English at Carey and is currently working on the newly-instituted Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at Mississippi University for Women. She serves as the administrative assistant for theatre and communication and as the advisor of The Crusader, Carey’s yearbook.
The box office opens December 7 and is open from 1 until 4 p.m. daily. Call 601-318-6221 for reservations. Tickets are $5 each.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 10:05am
The William Carey University forensics team recently placed first overall, winning in both speech and debate competition, and first in individual events at the Red River Swing Tournament at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.
During the tournament, which was held from November 6-8, Carey’s team was also awarded the 2015 Jarzabek Ethics Award and recognition as the tournament’s most ethical team. The ethics award recipient is selected by fellow teams competing in the tournament. Competitors in the tournament included, among others, LSU, the University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Tennessee State University and Texas Christian University.
Carey team members also won a number of individual awards. Treya Brown of Hattiesburg won first place in poetry interpretation while Kelseigh Redmon of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Nykila Norman of Greenville, South Carolina, placed first in duo interpretation. Balencia Crosby of Houston, Texas, won first in after-dinner speaking and first in prose interpretation. Farah Habad of Union City, California, was recognized as the top speaker in varsity debate while Kyle Wilhelm of Robinson, Texas, and Sarah Bonnewell of Camby, Indiana, were named octofinalists in novice debate.
The team, which is under the direction of Assistant Professor of Communication Jennifer Talbert, previously won third place in individual events at tournaments hosted by the University of Alabama and Ball State University in Indiana in October. In a September tournament at Western Kentucky University, the team placed first overall and third in individual events.