School Department News

Noonkester School of Arts and Letters

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 9:10am
The William Carey University Theatre will present “A Lesson Before Dying,” a studio production by Ernest J. Gaines honoring African-American History Month, from February 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus.
The play tells the story of Jefferson (Jawoine Hawkins of Grand Prairie, Texas), an innocent young man, condemned to death in Louisiana in 1948. He is held prisoner by Sheriff Guidry (Billy Burkes of Meridian) and Deputy Bonin (Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, Ga.). At the trial, his lawyer, trying to avoid the death penalty, calls him no more a human being than a hog. Jefferson, distraught by the statement, begins to let go of his humanity and acts like one. He insists that he will have to be dragged like a hog to his death in the electric chair. His godmother Emma (Symone Holmes of Denver, Colo.) asks the schoolteacher, Grant Wiggins (Brandan Lindsay of Simpsonville, S.C.) to teach him how to die like a man. Mr. Wiggins, who is struggling with his commitment to his poor parish school, longs to leave the South. He is forced to face both Jefferson and himself as execution day arrives. Grant’s girlfriend Vivian (Tia Brown of Hattiesburg) and the Rev. Ambrose (Reggie Chapman of Hattiesburg) contribute to the conflict. Based off of the celebrated novel by the same name, “A Lesson Before Dying” is a gripping, moving and finally devastating play.
Tim Matheny, chair of the Carey theatre and communication department, is director. Jana Barkley of Picyaune is lighting designer and Joey Roderick is sound designer. Jaylen Eashmond of Hattiesburg is rehearsal assistant. 
Hawkins, Holmes, Lindsay, Brown, Chapman and Eashmond are members of the Carey speech and debate team, currently ranked second nationally according to Pi Kappa Delta Forensics Honorary 2014-2015. 
Tickets are $5 and can be reserved by calling (601) 318-6221 beginning Monday, Feb. 23. The box office is open from 1 until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 9:07am
Auditions for cast and interviews for crew positions for the 40th season of William Carey University’s Carey Dinner Theatre (CDT) will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 21 in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus.
CDT presents two musicals in June and July. Each member of the company is paid. The financial package includes salary, tips from serving during dinner and housing.
Those auditioning as performers will present a one-minute monologue from a modern prose play (no dialect), a one-minute vocal selection from a Broadway musical and will 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, box office managers and office assistants. Each person will complete an application and an interview with CDT staff. Portfolios are invited. Performers may also apply for staff positions.
Each applicant should bring a head shot to the audition/interview. Contracts are offered only to those who have graduated from high school by May 25, 2015. The company commitment is May 25 through July 20.
For more information, call (601) 318-6218 or email
Carey Dinner Theatre, founded in 1975, has a long tradition of excellence. In its history, more than 60 colleges and universities in addition to Carey have been represented by students in the company.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 2:41pm
Two William Carey University theatre majors received awards at the recent Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Albany, Ga.
Winning students competed against other theatre programs from Region 4 KCACTF, which includes universities from nine states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Design awards are given in two separate categories, David Weiss and Barbizon. Weiss awards are given for unrealized production designs, or plays not produced on stage, and Barbizon awards are given for plays produced on stage within the academic year.
Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, Ga., received a first place award in Barbizon design for his presentation of the sound co-design for the Carey production of “Scenes from Argonautika.” He received an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national festival in April, which includes workshops with professional designers and a national competition against the other seven regional winners. Billy Burkes of Meridian is sound co-designer for the production.
Jana Barkley of Picayune placed first in the David Weiss design competition for her set design of “Medea.” She also received honorable mentions for her set co-design with Chris Permenter of Oak Grove and her lighting co-design with Billy Burkes for “Scenes from Argonautika.” She also received the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas (SILA) Award given to students who exhibit successful potential in theatre arts. The SILA award includes a trip to Las Vegas and a week-long summer intensive theatre workshop.
Carey Theatre’s group was also recognized with a standout showing in the Devised Theatre category. Students were given a prompt from the KCACTF in the fall and had to write and develop a show. The 2015 devised theatre show was written and performed by freshmen and sophomore theatre majors Nicoli Hutchison of Carriere, Logan McCarty of Hattiesburg, Sawyer Walters of Oak Grove and Nadia Trinanes of Hattiesburg.
The students are mentored by Tim Matheny, chair of the theatre and communication department and Dewey Douglas, assistant professor of theatre design and technical director.
Monday, February 9, 2015 - 9:14am
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 4:43pm
The Sarah Ellen Gillespie Museum of Art at William Carey University’s Hattiesburg campus is hosting “Selections from the Gillespie Collection,” an exhibit of art by Mississippi-related artists, through March 31.
The exhibit includes 36 paintings by 34 artists either from Mississippi or with ties to Mississippi. Selected artists featured in the exhibit include Marie Atkinson Hull, Mildred Wolfe, Dollye Kirk, John Armistead, Dodie Dobson and Bobby Walters as well as others.
The Gillespie Museum is open from 1 until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment by calling (601) 318-6542. The exhibit will be closed during winter trimester break from February 17-20 and during spring break from March 9-13.