MESSAGE

School Department News

Noonkester School of Arts and Letters

Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 2:24pm
Carey Dinner Theatre, Mississippi’s unique dinner theatre, continues its 42nd season with “8-Track: The Sounds of the 70s,” opening on Tuesday, July 11. The show will run through July 22, with performances on Tuesday-Saturday nights at the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the William Carey University campus in Hattiesburg.
 
This music revue features the best of pop and easy listening music from the 1970s. Conceived by Rick Seeber, “8-Track” features the music of the Carpenters, The Doobie Brothers, the Bee Gees, Barry Manilow, Marvin Gaye, KC and the Sunshine Band, and many more. The audience will enjoy the thumping rhythms and stunning harmonies that were the best of seventies music. Audiences will be swaying in their seats to such favorites as “Everything is Beautiful,” “American Pie,” “Takin’ It to the Streets,” “Tie a Yellow Ribbon,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “Desperado,” and “Shake, Shake, Shake.” 
 
Performers are Tessa Flesher of Mobile, AL; Kailee Montes of Canton, GA; Emily Oliver of Fayette, AL; Joey Parker of Ocean Springs; and Ben Salters of Ocean Springs. Band members are Elizabeth Wiggins of Hernando; and Lyujohn Williams of Lucedale. 
 
Tim Matheny, an assistant professor of theatre at Mississippi State University, is the director. Tae Young Hong, an adjunct instructor of music at William Carey University, is musical director; and Melissa Beauvais, an adjunct instructor of dance at Carey, is choreographer. Obra Quave, professor emeritus of theatre at Carey, is the managing director.
 
Scenic designer is Cody Stockstill, an assistant professor and theatre coordinator at MSU. Lighting designer and technical director is Bronwyn Teague, a recent MFA graduate from the University of Southern Mississippi. Costume designer is Kelly James-Penot, adjunct instructor and costume shop manager at USM.
 
“This is the first time, CDT has featured a musical revue of the seventies,” said Quave. “Because American radio stations were playing mixed formats, songs from several different genres became popular. ‘8 Track’ has something for everybody.”
 
Dinner is served at 7 p.m. in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre, and the performance follows. 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.
 
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 4:48pm
William Carey University associate professor Lorie Watkins is the editor of a new book, “A Literary History of Mississippi.” The book is being promoted as the “first comprehensive history of literature from a state with perhaps the nation’s richest literary lode.”
 
Watkins submitted a proposal to the University Press of Mississippi in 2011 for a book that would become part of the Heritage of Mississippi Series celebrating the state’s bicentennial in 2017. The book is a compilation of contributions by scholars from Mississippi or intimately connected to the state, but Watkins said the book is not intended solely for scholars.
 
“It’s for the general reader, one who knows that Mississippi has this rich literary legacy and wants to learn about it,” she said. “I wanted to take that legacy beyond the walls of my current classroom, and I hope this volume tells our story in a way that makes it accessible to everyone. Our state has a literary history that should make every Mississippian proud, and this book celebrates that tradition.”    
 
Watkins and contributors Ted Atkinson and Ellen Weinauer will discuss the book during “History is Lunch” presented by the Department of Archives and History on Wednesday, June 28 at the William F. Winters Archives and History Building in Jackson. 
 
Watkins describes Mississippi as a study in contradictions. One of the richest states when the Civil War began, it emerged as possibly the poorest and remains so today. Geographically diverse, the state encompasses 10 distinct landform regions. As people traverse these, they discover varying accents and divergent outlooks. They find pockets of inexhaustible wealth within widespread, grinding poverty. Yet the most illiterate, disadvantaged state has produced arguably the nation’s richest literary legacy. 
 
“What does it mean to write in a state of such extremes?” asked Watkins. “The country’s fascination with Mississippi persists because the place embodies the very conflicts that plague the nation.” 
 
The collection examines indigenous literature, Southwest humor, slave narratives, and the literature of the Civil War. Essays on modern and contemporary writers and the state’s changing role in southern studies look at more recent literary trends, while essays on key individual authors offer more information on luminaries including Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Tennessee Williams, and Margaret Walker. Finally, essays on autobiography, poetry, drama, and history span the creative breadth of Mississippi’s literature. 
 
Watkins has studied and read the literature of her home state for more than 25 years, and she was surprised no one had written about Mississippi’s literary history. As she began thinking about which authors, periods, and topics to include, she soon realized what a big task it would be. “I realized that no one person could do that work alone, so I proposed a multi-author approach in which scholars intimately connected to the state through their life and work would join me in chronicling the rich literary heritage that we share.” 
 
Contributors include Ted Atkinson, Robert Bray, Patsy J. Daniels, David A. Davis, Taylor Hagood, Lisa Hinrichsen, Suzanne Marrs, Greg O’Brien, Ted Ownby, Ed Piacentino, Claude Pruitt, Thomas J. Richardson, Donald M. Shaffer, Theresa M. Towner, Terrence T. Tucker, Daniel Cross Turner, Lorie Watkins, and Ellen Weinauer.
 
Watkins is from Seminary and is an associate professor of English at William Carey University in Hattiesburg. She is the author of “William Faulkner, Gavin Stevens, and the Cavalier Tradition” and editor of the annual “Publications of the Mississippi Philological Association.”
 
“A Literary History of Mississippi” is available from the University Press of Mississippi, Lemuria Books in Jackson, and on Amazon.
 
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 3:30pm
William Carey University’s Carey Dinner Theatre will present “Country Is: The Music of Main Street” June 15 – July 1 at the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus. Pictured are Tessa Flesher, Emily Oliver, Ben Salters and Joey Parker rehearsing a scene from the country music revue which includes classics from Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks and others. Dinner is served at 7 p.m. with the performance following.
 
For reservations call (601) 318-6221. The box office is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Tickets are $30 per person and includes dinner, show, and sales tax.
 
The menu for the evening includes grilled mesquite chicken breast, slow roast beef tips with yellow rice, whole green beans with new potatoes, fresh vegetable medley, traditional squash casserole, mixed spring green salad with ranch dressing and balsamic vinaigrette, fresh fruit salad, Ms. Pam's buttermilk custard pie, rolls, butter, tea and coffee.
 
 
 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 11:46am
Carey Dinner Theatre, Mississippi’s unique dinner theatre, will celebrate its 42nd season with two musicals in June and July on William Carey University’s Hattiesburg campus.
 
The first show is “Country Is: The Music of Main Street,” a musical revue conceived by Rick Seeber. “Country Is,” which runs June 15 through July 1, rediscovers the timeless classics of Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, and others. This down-home country showcase includes “On the Road Again,” “Nine to Five,” “Crazy,” “Amarillo By Morning,” “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” to name just a few. “Country Is” features the heartbeat of American country songs which defined hard-working, hard-playing people.
 
The second show is “8-Track, The Sounds of the 70s,” a revue which features the best of pop and easy listening music from the 1970s. “8-Track” runs July 11 through 22. Also conceived by Rick Seeber, “8-Track” features the music of the Carpenters, The Doobie Brothers, the Bee Gees, Barry Manilow, Marvin Gaye, KC and the Sunshine Band, and many more. The audience will enjoy the thumping rhythms and stunning harmonies that were the best of seventies music. Audiences will be swaying in their seats to such favorites as “Everything is Beautiful,” “American Pie,” “Takin’ It to the Streets,” “Tie a Yellow Ribbon,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “Desperado,” and “Shake, Shake, Shake.” 
 
Dinner is served at 7 p.m. in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre and the performance follows. 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, beginning June 5. Call (601) 318-6221 to make reservations or to be added to the mailing list.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 1:44pm
Five William Carey University theatre students were honored at the 2017 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 the R. E. Cromis Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to a theatre major in memory of the husband of Mrs. Wilda Cromis of Pontiac, Michigan.
 
Treya Brown of Hattiesburg received an Acting Achievement Award for her work in the WCU production of “Raisin in the Sun.” 
 
Johonna Bush of Foxworth 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.
 
Chase Giadrosich of Picayune received 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.
 
Branden Lindsay of Simpsonville, South Carolina, was awarded the O. L. Quave Theatre Scholarship, which is an award funded by John Clearman, a WCU alumnus, in honor of Quave, who is professor emeritus; and the Obra L. Quave Legacy of Learning Scholarship, which honors faculty of Carey for their years of service with a Learning Legacy Dinner. Proceeds from the dinner fund the scholarship. He also won an Acting Achievement Award, which is voted on by a secret panel of persons outside the theatre who have attended every major production by WCU Theatre throughout the year.